The Cleveland Browns reached an obvious and logical conclusion by excusing disgruntled quarterback Baker Mayfield from a mandatory full-team minicamp.
By doing so, after conversations with Mayfield’s agent about how to handle it, the Browns avoid a potentially awkward situation if the former top overall pick had been in attendance working alongside his replacement, Deshaun Watson.
Baker Mayfield excused from mandatory minicamp
Mayfield could have been fined up to $93,000 if he hadn’t been excused from the mandatory minicamp.
Although the Browns haven’t been able to work out a trade for Mayfield after holding discussions with the Carolina Panthers during the draft that broke down over Cleveland being unwilling to pay the majority of his $18.86 million salary to unload him, nothing good would have been served by having him attend.
Plus, Mayfield continues to strengthen his surgically repaired shoulder. He has been throwing in Austin, Tx. with Cole Beasley and Danny Amendola to keep his arm in shape.
What’s the latest update on Mayfield’s trade market?
No trade is imminent or developing at this time as the Panthers and Seattle Seahawks continue to contemplate their plans, according to sources.
Those sources emphasized definite interest in Mayfield around the league, including from teams that might pursue him as a free agent in 2023 when his contract expires. They also noted that it’s a matter of timing and quarterback market fluctuation in what remains a fluid situation.
Browns coach Kevin Stefanski addressed Mayfield’s situation this offseason.
“I think it’s a unique situation,” Stefanski said. “We need to see how it plays out. All of us would love an answer, yes or no, that’s not the reality.”
This is an awkward situation, obviously, for Mayfield and the team. Ultimately, the Browns might have to hold onto Mayfield and his $18.86 million salary.
The Browns will have to be patient to see what’s their best option with getting Mayfield off the roster. Mayfield has passed for 14,125 career yards and 92 touchdowns in the NFL.
“I think we’ll see,” Stefanski said. “I think everybody understands the situation, and we’re hoping there’s closure to it at some point.”
Baker Mayfield offseason drama
During a conversation on the “Ya Never Know” podcast, Mayfield broke his silence on his tumultuous offseason and unresolved status with the Browns.
“I have no regrets of my time in Cleveland, of what I tried to give to that place,” Mayfield said. “The respect thing is all going to be a personal opinion. I feel disrespected, 100%. I was told one thing, and they completely did another.
“That’s what I’m in the middle of right now. And you know what, I got my taste of it because I’ve had four different head coaches in four years. 2021 was miserable — bunch of different coordinators. I’m just looking for stabilization right now.”
Mayfield added that he thought the Indianapolis Colts were where he was headed prior to their trade with the Atlanta Falcons to acquire quarterback Matt Ryan. He also mentioned the Seahawks as a possibility.
Previously, Mayfield had said goodbye to Cleveland on social media.
“I don’t know where I’m going next,” Mayfield said. “You don’t get to be in control. … I had great times my rookie year. I’m in a good place right now. I have no clue where I’m going. I have no idea where I’m going, but I’m not nervous. I’m going to control what I can control. That’s what it’s about.”
Mayfield passed for 3,010 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions last season in 14 games while dealing with the shoulder injury. He rushed for 134 yards and one touchdown and completed 60.5% of his throws.