Cynthia Frelund first claimed that Baker Mayfield told her he was going to “f-ck them up,” with them being the Cleveland Browns in Week 1. Mayfield has said that never happened, but Frelund is sticking to her story, sort of.
To get the full picture here, we need to start from the beginning.
Frelund, who works at NFL Network, was on the ‘Around The NFL’ podcast earlier this week. She claimed she spoke to Mayfield following the Carolina Panthers’ preseason finale. Frelund said she wished Mayfield luck by telling him to “go kick some butt” in Carolina’s season opener against Cleveland. Mayfield responded, according to her, by saying “I’m gonna f–k them up.”
The next day, Mayfield denied the report.
“I didn’t say it,” Mayfield said. “That is not how I phrased it, it’s not even what I said, I’ll just leave it at that.”
Despite Mayfield denying that he ever uttered the words, Frelund spoke with ESPN and stuck to her story, but added a rather important wrinkle to it.
“He echoed it back,” Frelund told ESPN. “It was very innocuous on his part. The tone was gracious and happy and excited.”
What we have here is a failure to communicate.
Frelund made it sound like Mayfield said I’m going to ‘f-ck them up’ with at least a hint of seriousness behind it. Now, she’s saying he echoed it back to her.
This means Frelund told Mayfield, tongue in cheek, to ‘f-ck them up’ and Mayfield simply repeated the phrase. He probably did so with a smile on his face in a completely laid-back tone.
“I didn’t even say anything,” Mayfield said later in his news conference. “All I did was, ‘Great, hope we win.’ Pretty plain and simple. I’m competitive. I want to win. I don’t think that should be harped on.”
No matter what did or did not happen, the story here is that there is no story.
Who cares if a football player said he was going to ‘f-ck up’ his former team in Week 1? That would be on par for Mayfield and his way of expressing that he’s a competitor.
Follow Mark Harris on Twitter: @itismarkharris
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