Baker Mayfield and Duke Johnson Jr.’s relationship has been complicated this offseason.
“You’re either on this train or you’re not,” Mayfield said. “I wouldn’t say I’m not happy about it. It’s just the way he’s handled it. It can be a stir-up in the media, it can be however it wants, but if somebody wants to be here, they’ll be here in that situation. You’ve got guys within our locker room that are dying to get playing time, that are dying to be here.’’
The statement from the QB reportedly caused some disagreement in the Browns’ locker room among the veterans, although it was later noted to be a non-issue by veteran wide receiver Jarvis Landry.
At training camp on Thursday, Mayfield spoke on his relationship with Johnson for the first time since his harsh words.
“We’re good,” Mayfield said. “We are out here to do our job. He’s here, and like I said when it all came out, we want people that want to be here, and he’s here right now. So that’s important and I think that shows that we are here to win.”
Duke Johnson Involved in Training Camp Scuffle
Things got a little heated between Johnson and a teammate not named Baker Mayfield during the opening practice of training camp.
Rookie linebacker Sione Takitaki made some contact with Johnson during a 9 on 7 drill. It was a little more than the fifth-year running back had expected in the no-pad practice and the duo exchanged words and had to be separated before practice moved along.
Baker Mayfield’s MVP Expectations with Browns
In just 13 starts last season, Mayfield threw for 3,725 yards and 27 touchdowns during his rookie campaign. The Browns finished 7-8-1 as Mayfield set the record for touchdown passes by a rookie, which was previously held by Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson.
He set the bar high for Year 2 and the Heisman winner has found himself in the mix as an MVP favorite.
According to the latest odds released by Caesars Sportsbook, Mayfield is tied with Patriots QB and three-time MVP Tom Brady at 12-1 to win the honor. Defending MVP Patrick Mahomes is 4-1.
NFL.com’s Adam Schein put quarterback Mayfield high on his list of MVP candidates, behind only reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes and Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.
“Mayfield won’t fail. He can’t fail. He has the talent, moxie, work ethic, accuracy and leadership skills to push the Browns to the playoffs,” Schein wrote of Mayfield.
Head coach Freddie Kitchens has done well trying to quiet the noise around his well-hyped squad. However, the first-year skipper made clear what the Browns want to do this year.
“I want everybody to understand this – our goal here with the Cleveland Browns as long as I am here will always be to win the Super Bowl. Now that is the last time I will say that,” Kitchens said. “Just know and make it a given that that is what I believe to my core is to win the Super Bowl.”
Follow the Heavy Cleveland Browns page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!