Even Baker Mayfield will admit that last season did not go as planned for himself or the Cleveland Browns.
He finished the year with 3,827 yards, 22 touchdowns and 21 interceptions, ranking next-to-last in both passer rating (78.8) and completion percentage (59.4%) despite having both Beckham and Landry at his disposal.
“It was a different year for me,” Mayfield told reporters at the end of the season. “Definitely didn’t have it all figured out. A lot of learning lessons, life lessons for me. I’m going to come back a different animal come spring time. …I love this game. I play it because it’s hard to play, it’s hard to have success. It’s the process you have to enjoy. The ups and downs. There was a lot of that this year.”
Analyst Calls for Baker Mayfield Benching
While almost everyone is in the camp that Mayfield should be given a chance to turn things around next season under the Browns new regime of head coach Kevin Stefanski and general manager Andrew Berry, former NFLer turned TV host/analyst Akbar Gbaja-Biamila believes strongly that the team should send the QB to the bench immediately.
“The thing about leadership, it’s organic, it’s all natural. It’s not a GMO,” Gbaja-Biamila said on NFL Total Access. “Under duress, we saw his body language, poor; his leadership, poor; his production, poor. I didn’t like anything about him. All of this big hype and the commercials. You know those advertisers are upset because they didn’t get the rate of return they thought they were out of Baker Mayfield.”
Fellow analyst James Jones laughs and says Gbaja-Biamila might have had a few too many drinks at the Chiefs parade before spewing his hot take. Jones then asked who he would propose to replace Mayfield.
“There are great quarterbacks out there right now. One I’m looking at is Case Keenum,” Gbaja-Biamila exclaimed. “You look at his numbers from 2019 — much better.”
Keenum is a free agent, but started eight games last season for the Washington Redskins, his fourth team in four years. He was 1-7 in those starts, passing for 1707 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions.
For what it’s worth, Gbaja-Biamila gave out his number, which can be seen in the above tweet, for anyone who wants to debate him.
Browns Have Faith in Baker Mayfield
Regardless of what the talking heads are saying, the Browns fully intend to give Mayfield the time he needs to succeed, regardless of a new regime coming in. Berry said as much in his introductory press conference this week.
“Obviously, I was a part of drafting Baker in 2018. I can tell you there was kind of an organizational consensus with selecting him with the first overall pick. Still have a lot of belief in Baker as a quarterback, his talent and what we think he can become in the NFL. Looking forward to seeing what Kevin, (offensive coordinator) Alex (Van Pelt) and his staff do with Baker this spring and into the fall. We are really excited about his future, and I am really excited about the work that Kevin is going to do with him.”