Baker Mayfield admits he doesn’t know where he’s going to be playing football during the 2022 season, but he has a plan for that next stop. And he’s got some hard feelings about his last NFL stop with the Cleveland Browns.
Mayfield, appearing on the You Never Know podcast, said he feels the Browns lied to him about their direction with him for 2022 and that showed a lack of respect.
“The respect thing is, like, it’s all going to be, like, a personal opinion,” Mayfield said. “I feel disrespected, 100 percent. Because I was told one thing, and they completely did another. And that’s what I’m in the middle of right now. And you know what? I got my taste of it because I had four different head coaches in four years, bunch of offensive coordinators.”
Mayfield is on the trade block because the Browns traded for Deshaun Watson in a deal that included multiple first-round picks sent to the Houston Texans and a fully guaranteed $230 million contract for Watson.
And the reason the team did that was because Mayfield had something of a roller coaster ride with the club beginning in 2018 when he was the first overall selection in the NFL draft — an experience Mayfield says he’s learned from.
“I had a great time my rookie year,” Mayfield said. “I didn’t start in the beginning. I came in, got to have fun in the back half of the year. 2019 sucked, 2020 was great, made the playoffs. 2021 was miserable.
“I’m just looking for stabilization right now. And, like, I know what I need to do for me to be the best version of me and be able to lead an organization. I’m in a good place right now. I have no clue where I’m going.”
Mayfield, 27 years old on Thursday, isn’t worried about his next stop.
“Not nervous,” he said. “I have no idea where I’m going, but I’m not nervous. I’ve gone through a lot of shit the past few years, but now I’m going to control what I can control. I’m going to try to impact as many people as I possibly can and work my ass off doing it.
“I mean, that’s what it’s about. It’s like you can say, ‘I’m a tough, hard-nosed this, I work hard.’ Nobody cares. There’s too much out there in the world today for anybody to actually believe it. You have to go show it each and every day.”
Mayfield had his worst season in 2021, throwing 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, and although he doesn’t draw a line from his performance to his left (non-throwing) shoulder injury, he does describe how significant it actually was.
“I tore my labrum full front and basically, like, 90 percent in the back,” Mayfield said. “It was Week 2, tore it in the first half … But then four weeks later, we were playing the Cardinals and dislocated my shoulder again, but I dislocated it so bad and at a different angle that the bone — the humorous that goes up in shoulder socket — comes up into the ball socket and fractures the bone.”
Mayfield missed three starts in 2021.
“It was one thing after another. It was mentally tough,” Mayfield said. “I was trying to be tough and fight through it, but then, basically, I wasn’t as able to do what I normally do. So when I wasn’t performing on the field, that’s when it really started going downhill.”
Despite the challenges, Mayfield believes he has nothing to apologize for regarding his time in Cleveland.
“I really, truly, honestly have no regrets of my time in Cleveland of what I tried to give that place,” he said. “And true Clevelanders and true Browns fans know that. And that’s why I can walk away from the whole situation feeling like I did it.”
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