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Paul Finebaum is clearly no fan of Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.
In the wake of a report that Mayfield could request a trade out of Cleveland, the ESPN talking head and college football analyst unloaded on Mayfield.
“I got into it with him in college,” Finebaum said, via Fox News. “He came after me on Twitter. And I thought he was a punk then and nothing has changed. He is a poor man’s Johnny Manziel. I think Cleveland ought to get rid of him. I don’t know if it’s possible, but I think the Browns are wasting their time with this guy.”
Mayfield, 26, is in the last year of his rookie deal with the Browns after being selected first overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Browns already exercised his fifth-year option, where Mayfield is set to earn $18.85 million in 2022. Public opinion appeared split on Mayfield’s prospects of getting a long-term contract with Cleveland, but a lackluster 2021 campaign has sent the pendulum in the wrong direction.
And when Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot reported differences between Mayfield and head coach Kevin Stefanski, Mayfield was quick to call her out on Twitter.
“Clickbait. You and many other Cleveland local media continue to be drama stirring reporters with no sources or facts,” he wrote. “Don’t put words in my mouth so you can put food on your table. I’m not your puppet.”
Coming out of Oklahoma, Mayfield was likened to Manziel. Both Heisman Trophy winners, although short in stature, perceived by many to have maturity concerns. The fears of Manziel were warranted, as “Johnny Football” was “Johnny Gone” after just two seasons in the NFL.
Mayfield has far outshined Manziel in Cleveland, leading the Browns to the playoffs in 2020, their first appearance since 2002. Playing through a torn labrum during the second half of the season, Mayfield finished 2021 throwing for 3,010 yards, 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions on 60.5% passing. His 35.3 QBR was 26th among starters.
The Browns (7-9) are eliminated from playoff contention. Mayfield was shut down and will not play in Week 18 against the Bengals on Sunday.
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