The end of the Baker Mayfield era has finally arrived after a long offseason. It is yet to be seen how he will play coming off of his shoulder injury.
The long awaited painful saga is over as Baker Mayfield is no longer a member of the Cleveland Browns. The chapter of the former number one overall pick in the land is now closed and both sides are poised to go their separate way. At least until September 11th when they will face off in week one of the 2022-23 National Football League season. The details of the trade include the Browns paying half or more of the money, Baker Mayfield is slated to make this season and the Carolina Panthers sending a 2024 conditional fifth-round pick back to the Cleveland Browns.
Baker Mayfield sure had a bumpy ride during his four seasons as the starting quarterback of the Cleveland Browns. There were some highs like the playoff victory over Pittsburgh in 2020 and there were some lows like the disappointing final two seasons that also led to the exit of star wide receiver Odell Beckham. Despite all the weapons they surrounded Baker Mayfield with, he failed to lead this Cleveland Browns team to the level that they should have reached with offensive weapons like Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, David Njoku, and the previously mentioned Odell Beckham as well as a top offensive line when healthy.
At the end of the day, his tenure in Cleveland will be remembered as a failure despite what some misfits and Baker bros tell you. One playoff win in four seasons and a final record of 29-30 in 59 regular season games with a ton of talent on the roster is nothing to brag home about. Especially when you replace Baker Mayfield with a top five quarterback in the National Football League in Deshaun Watson.
In his final year in Brown and Orange, he compiled more turnovers than he did touchdowns. He was the constant source of locker room divide and missed wide open guys on several occasions leading to a losing season and their third missed postseason in his four year stint.
The Future Of Baker Mayfield
There is Always a shot that he will succeed as a member of the Carolina Panthers as they do have a lot of talent on the roster. As long as guys like Jaycee Horn, DJ Moore, and Christian McCaffrey can stay healthy the Panthers have the potential to be somewhat competitive in the NFC South division. However, it does hinge on the play of the quarterback and if Baker Mayfield doesn’t return to his pre-injury 2020 form it’s going to be a long season for Carolina if he starts all 17 games. First up for him though will be the quarterback competition throughout camp with Sam Darnold.
Before the shoulder injury that hampered him throughout last season he was putting up decent numbers as a game manager in Cleveland with a talented roster around him. He was 23-24 in 37 starts and had 75 passing touchdowns to only 43 passes that were intercepted. He did leave the Browns to a playoff victory depending on who you ask as it was a great performance from both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt as well that anchored the team in Pittsburgh that cold January evening.
At the end of the day for most Cleveland Browns fans like myself we are just happy that the never ending drama is over and we can move on with our lives and our football team as we gear up for the 2022 National Football League season. While portions of the fan base will wish Baker Mayfield well and some will even be pulling for him in week one of the year against the Browns, The fact still remains that his tenure in Cleveland as a former number one overall pick did not go as it should have.
We can sit here and speculate as to why till the end of time but a new era begins for Baker Mayfield and a new era begins for the Cleveland Browns as well. While they will cross paths shortly both will be on a redemption tour this season and no matter the result at the end of the day this is what is best for the two parties involved. It was time for a change and whether you consider Deshaun Watson the “adult in the room” or not it is shown by Baker Mayfield‘s actions that he should’ve held himself to a higher standard on his way out the door.
The goodbye letter to fans and Baker Mayfield’s refusal to accept the role as a backup quarterback and his refusal to sit out last season when his shoulder was costing the team victories is the reason he is no longer a member of this football team. It could also be why his National Football League career may be forever derailed. As his lasting legacy is nothing more than a sober version of Johnny Manziel.