Baker Mayfield: It’s fine if guys don’t like me, but I have to earn their respect

NFL: DEC 12 Ravens at Browns
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Quarterback Baker Mayfield said plenty during his lengthy appearance on the YNK Podcast, including that he felt disrespected by the Browns.

But Mayfield also acknowledged that he plans on doing some things differently when it comes to leadership at his next stop — wherever that may be.

Toward the end of the 90-minute interview, Mayfield was asked if he was excited to get guys to rally around him in a new locker room. The quarterback made it clear that his process isn’t going to be about trying to get guys to like him.

“I’m not going to force it. I’m going to be myself,” Mayfield said. “Because I feel like I tried to force it when things on the field weren’t going well, like in the past couple of years. I feel like I’m going to go in there and be myself, because that’s worked for me in the past. I’m going to go in with the same work ethic and mentality. And if they don’t like me, that’s fine. But when I step on the field and I play as confident as I am and what I think I’m going to do on the field the next time I get a chance to do it, I’ll earn the respect of the guys who didn’t appreciate it from the beginning.

“And if I’m worried about getting them to like me, what am I doing? They don’t care if I like them either. They want their quarterback to win. They’re trying to get a paycheck. If their team wins, they get paid. So the guys who don’t really personally like me, that’s fine. But I have to have their respect. And the way I do that is just working my ass off, being myself. Because you can get sniffed out in a f—ing heartbeat if you’re fake. They’ll sniff that out quick.”

Mayfield wasn’t asked about the report from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that the Browns wanted “an adult” at quarterback — a comment Browns owner Jimmy Haslam denied making. But the quarterback did acknowledge that he’s working on improving at leading professional teammates in the locker room.

As Mayfield put it, one of a quarterback’s most important jobs is to get everyone to stave off complacency.

“It’s like, how can I get the best out of people that are making a s—t-ton of money?” Mayfield said. “Because I could always motivate people when we weren’t making money. That was easy. I could get in their face, I could do all that because, you know what, we were on the same playing field.

“You get a pension after four years, you get benefits and all that. So how do you motivate people who are at that point that have already reached it? That’s the biggest battle for me right now. I can motivate myself. I know how to do that. I haven’t done it, always, correctly. But I know how to do it. How can I get it out of everybody else? Because that’s a leadership perspective of being a quarterback. I have to get everybody else around me to be better than they really think they are.”

Mayfield added “a bunch” of his energy is going into his leadership, in part because he knows how he’s perceived and portrayed through the media matters for his teammates and their families.

“When they go home at night, they’re going to talk about how my quarterback acts,” Mayfield said. “And he better be a responsible guy that actually cares about them as human beings — not just winning. And how do you galvanize that? And that’s a huge issue.”

At this point, no one really knows where Mayfield’s next destination will be or when he’ll get there. But whoever he plays for could be getting a quarterback with a renewed appreciation for leadership and how much it matters as a team’s QB1.

48 responses to “Baker Mayfield: It’s fine if guys don’t like me, but I have to earn their respect

  1. after this yr Baker becomes a FA.. hard to think any team going to pay him more than back up $$ ..

  2. First step in gaining respect & showing mature leadership is being demonstrated by him. The second step is to follow through on the verbal presentation with actual maturity demonstrated by actions. Continued, prolonged maturity will be something the next team will hope to get be getting. Time will tell.

  3. Well…lots a guys in that locker didn’t respect him. Funny how that’s never touched since Odell was the problem and Baker would be All Pro after he left and make it the Super Bowl now that the “cancer” was gone.. Next….

  4. I would take him in Seattle in a heartbeat. PC is adamant about wanting (and letting) his players be themselves. Just think of some of the unique, if just a little bit crazy, players they’ve had in the past. Michael Bennett, Richard Sherman, Marshawn Lynch, Doug Baldwin. All great players with personalities that ranged from silly playful types to dead serious…almost angry types. They meshed and played their best because they were themselves. If Baker can’t make it in Seattle, he can’t make it anywhere.

  5. After four years in the league as a starter and this is the kind of interview he gives? This kid was DOA from the start. 27 going on 13. Good luck kid.

  6. Baker Mayfield hasn’t come to grips that the NFL is not Oklahoma the NFL is a results-driven league it’s not about feelings or respect you get feelings and respect from your wife and family. Respect in the NFL means that you produce when given the tools to succeed. Baker has to understand that other people’s careers ride on what he does or doesn’t do on the football field. Baker had everything at his command a top ten OL, two all-pro RBs, a top ten defense, and a head coach that set up an offense tailor-made for his skill set. and it matters whether or not your teammates like you as a person.

  7. The article starts with quotes saying he doesn’t care if people like him… and ends with him saying he wants to behave differently so that he’s perceived better by the media, which will endear him to his teammates and their families…

    During the season he was repeatedly saying he was well enough to not have his performance affected on the field… now it all went south because he got hurt. Which one is it?

    All are quotes taken from yet another unnecessary situation where’s he’s talking about himself when he doesn’t have to, and the best thing he could do is just be humble and stay under the radar for a while.

    So tired of this act. Go Browns.

  8. Always blabbing. Blah..:blah…blah…. You’re a 6th rounder att best. Start playing better and less talking.

  9. Baker- you can be the biggest donkey in the room, as long as you have the ability to complete short passes on a regular basis and also have the ability to throw deep once in a while. You have neither ability. Pair this with your hubris, and, well….. good luck to you.

  10. Baker also said this in the same podcast when asked about being booed after a win vs Detroit. “I would love to show up to somebody’s cubicle and just boo the s— out of them and watch them crumble,” he said.

    Love Baker’s heart and determination, but that doesn’t sound much like a leader to me.

  11. I think Baker will be a starter sometimes and a backup sometimes for the rest of his career, like Glennon or Fitzpatrick.

  12. He should try to improve as a QB instead of making a persona of him in the media. His physical traits are not those of a first round QB in the first place.

  13. I’ve never been a fan of Mayfield. He has been and can be a very good NFL QB again. He has always played with a chip on his shoulder. He needs to keep that edge to himself. No doubt in my mind, some team will take a flyer on him and be very pleased if he can stop the off field shenanigans and focus on football.

  14. Man this dude is overthinking all this and that should be worrisome for the next team that gets him. The type of “leadership” needed is a marriage of skill and just being an authentic person that’s comfortable in their own skin – not forcing any of this. This is easier said than done but Burrow really seems to do this well. My advice to him would just be to hone his craft…work in silence…and make believers through winning. They’ll follow you then. Also stop doing dumb commercials.

  15. Let Mayfield land in Pittsburgh so he can destroy Watson and the Browns for the next 10 years.

  16. It’s the same old Baker, yapping away. Actions speak louder words, and trust and respect are gained over time. Stop talking and show it with action rather than providing lip service. Man, this guy is tiring. You can’t spell Mayfield without M and E.

  17. I know that a lot of people think that deep down inside, Baker is a really good guy.
    In my opinion, he needs to do a lot of work to make me forget about the way he jumped all into Duke Johnson’s personal business and made a complete fool of himself regarding where Hue Jackson was going to get his next paycheck from

  18. QB Mayfield later commented on the thoughts of his teammates and other players in the league that “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me”.

  19. The Browns gave this guy every advantage possible. Great OL, great RBs, great WRs, etc. People want to rip the Freddie Kitchens hire but it was done in the effort to support Baker. At some point, Baker needs to own up to the fact that Emily and his supporting cast did him no favors. The Cleveland fans and franchise embraced this guy and he blew it. I’ll give him credit for getting the Browns to .500 which was no easy task, but he wasn’t creating sustainable success in Cleveland.

  20. Sounds like he’s on the right track by recognizing his faults and crafting a plan to address them. It’s not easy to be a leader of men when you’re young, have little work experience and are one of the youngest guys on the team. It’s a skill that is a natural for some people, but for others it can be learned with enough effort.

  21. The best thing you could have done was let everyone run their mouths for a year and then go where you wanted and humble them. Instead, you open your mouth on a podcast about respect to try and paint your image to people the way you see yourself. It doesn’t matter how you view yourself. The truth is, if anyone in that locker room respected you at all, they would have came to your defense publicly. Not one single teammate did. Not one. That tells you everything you need to know. You knew how to lead kids. You do not know how to lead men. There is a fundamental difference and it’s clear you do not see or understand that.

  22. Can we stop pretending this is some sort of personal vendetta. It’s not about like or dislike … it’s about play on the field.

  23. He is still belittling team mates “4 years and pension”. I wonder if he has ever reflected on how he treated Duke Johnson. He has a long way to go

  24. Somebody tell Baker that until respect is a tie breaker determining playoff spots, he should concentrate most on winning.

  25. Nick Chubb is both liked and respected…and never says a word. All this talk is part of the problem, Baker. I’m rooting for the guy but his constant chirping fuels his critics and exhausts his supporters.

  26. Cleveland here… Thank you Baker and we wish you all the best. The Browns went ALL IN with the wrong guy and if he gets hurt (again) we have no cap space to sign anyone and are toast.

  27. The problem with Mayfield is that he still acts like the 18 year old walk-on, trying to prove himself. By the time he figures out the maturity part, he will be a 30 year old backup QB for some contender.

  28. It’s been a few years since Bakers mighty quick no huddle touchdown drive against the WFT in the first preseason game of the year and proceeded to celebrate like it was the winning drive of a Super Bowl lol KARMA.

  29. He still doesn’t get it. What this interview did was show how screwed up he really is and how he struggles against the wrong things. If you are a great player you can have opinions and take a stance on issues, ala Brady and Rogers. If you are a mediocre quarterback you just have to keep getting better on the field and things will take care of themselves. After listening to all this I’m surprised the Browns did as well as they did the past few years. Baker, nobody wants to hear from you anymore. Just shut up and dribble…

  30. He had a nice run with a big #1 pick rookie contract and lots of commercials. I am afraid it is all downhill from here.

  31. none of these younger players do their talking on the field, its that genreation. how is he a backup qb at best according people, when if you look at his record and stats v. someone like deshaun watson they are pretty damn close and watson is suppoded to be a generational talent? the record 29-30 v 28-26, comp % 61% v 68%, passing yards watson +1000(over 3 yrs that’s 300 yards more per season or like 20 more per gamer), interception % 2.9% v 2.1%

    Really very similar numbers and both have only 1 playoff win. So why is 1 thought to be so much better then the other, the numbers dont lie.

  32. it’s kind of amazing how a bad personality can sink you as a player. he seemingly has no off the field issues to speak of in comparison to his replacement. he’s not out of shape and seems to work hard. people just don’t like him.

  33. By far my preferred outcome here is he lands in Pittsburgh. And they destroy Cleveland while Watson sits out because hes spending the year on the exempt list.

  34. Here’s a suggestion for Baker to win people over:

    “Man, I really want to play. I have learned so much looking back on my past 4 years, especially from my mistakes. I hope I get another chance to prove what I can do. I want to be better, and I want to work with everyone around me to become a great team, and win it all.”

  35. No one likes or respects this chump. He sucks at his job. He is a career backup or a starter on a really bad team. Thats his talent level. He has horrible footwork, cant read a defense, doesnt know the playbook, misses wide open receivers Ll game long because of the 3 previous points. He is a 6th round talent that the Browns inexplicably took at 1 overall. Big deal he has a strong arm. Jeff George had a strong arm too and was a horrible NFL QB that never won

  36. Working on yourself is a big part of being a great leader. Being “yourself” is no good if that means being a jerk. It’s ok to improve as a person.

  37. omzmode says:
    April 14, 2022 at 5:43 am
    He is still belittling team mates “4 years and pension”. I wonder if he has ever reflected on how he treated Duke Johnson. He has a long way to go


    I agree. It’s actually not his job to motivate or judge any other player. Sure, he can hold them accountable to do their job as any good teammate should. Mainly he just needs to focus on being a better QB and a better person and forget everything else.

  38. Unlike many of you, this “jilting” by Cleveland may be showing a different side of Mayfield to me, and I have hated him to date.

    Let’s be real. He’s an easy guy to hate. Talks too much. He’s emotional..brash..a bit of a jerk. A diva.

    But starting with his post to the Cleveland Fans, and now with the details on his injuries and playing with an through them, to some of these comments on leadership and his role. I actually think his statements show he is growing. And unlike a couple posts above, I like his comments on what money does to veterans and how hard it can be to get them motivated. Most importantly he talked about leading by working his A$$ off…showing the way.

    If I advised him, doing interviews like this one would end. But his toughness. His effort. His commitment speak measures about him. I think he will always be a guy folks love to hate. And being a bit of a di$k at times is who he is. And who knows if he will ever be a great QB. But he has shown ability more than a few times. Seattle could do way worse.

  39. Pretend, pretend, pretend.

    As with everything concerning the Browns, it is all the things that aren’t being said, that aren’t allowed to be talked about, that are the real story.

    Things have never been the same on that team after Mayfield threw Myles Garrett under the bus.

    It’s just a simple fact.

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