Former Browns QB Baker Mayfield Lashes Out Amid Benching Speculation

Baker Mayfield

Getty Images Quarterback Baker Mayfield of the Carolina Panthers.

Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has struggled mightily with the Carolina Panthers and his starting role appears to be in jeopardy with the offense sputtering.

Through four games, the Panthers are 1-3 have one of the worst offenses in football, averaging just 262.3 yards per game. Mayfield ranks dead-last in the league in QBR and is coming off a rough performance in a 26-16 loss to the Panthers.

Mayfield was 22-for-36 passing for 197 yards with two interceptions and one garbage time touchdown pass.

For most of the second half, Mayfield and the offense were showered with a smattering of boos from the home crowd. He tossed an interception in the fourth quarter that helped the Cardinals extend their lead and missed badly on a 4th-and-1 pass from the Panthers 31-yard line that led to another score.

“Obviously, I’m frustrated with the fact that we’re 1–3. We’re four weeks into the year. We can sit here and let you guys pile on us or we’re gonna come together as a locker room,” Mayfield told reporters. “I don’t really care about the fact that our fans are booing or what’s going on. We’re going to figure it out and when we win it’ll still be just us in the locker room and that’s really all I care about so we’re gonna be just fine.”

Hearing boos isn’t a new experience for Mayfield — it happened in Cleveland as well, which he addressed in an offseason interview admid trade drama.

“I would love to show up to somebody’s cubicle and just boo the sh-t out of them and watch them crumble,” Mayfield said in April on the “Ya Never Know” podcast.

Browns Return for Mayfield Contingent on Snap Count

The Browns were finally able to part ways with Mayfield by trading him to the Panthers after a long and drawn out affair this offseason following a move for Deshaun Watson. The conditional draft pick Cleveland got back could turn into a fourth-rounder if Mayfield plays 70% of the snaps in Carolina, although that is now a major question.

Head coach Matt Rhule is also on the hot seat and didn’t exactly give a ringing endorsement of Mayfield after the loss to the Cardinals.

“I’m going to refrain from anything big picture until tomorrow. At the end of the day, I’m on the headset, I see the things, I know that it’s never just one person here, one person there, it’s a lot of different things, so I’ll try to give you a really well thought-out answer after watching tapes,” Rhule said of Mayfield’s starting status. “All that being said, I believe that we can play better than that. I just feel like we have to expect more from all of us as an offense, and it starts with me first.”

Mayfield also took a paycut when he joined the Panthers and has incentives that would help him earn it back. He’ll have to pick it up in a hurry though. Sam Darnold is expected to return soon from a high-ankle sprain and could be a tempting option for Rhule if the offense continues to struggle.

If Mayfield does lose the starting gig, his future in the NFL would be in question, with the former top overall pick set to hit free agency next offseason.

Browns Fall to 2-2 After Stumble Against Falcons

Mayfield has not been missed in Cleveland, with Jacoby Brissett doing an admirable job as the starter with Watson sidelined for the first 11 games. However, the Browns fell to 2-2 on Sunday, dropping a very winnable game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Despite outgaining Atlanta and holding an 11 minute edge in time of possesion, the Browns fell 23-20.

“At the end of the day, we’re a 2-2 team,” Chubb said after his third 100-yard game of the season. “That’s who we are, so that’s our identity for now. But we can only focus on the things we’ve got to get better at doing.”

The Browns have questions on both sides of the ball and the schedule only gets tougher from here, facing the Chargers and Justin Herbert next.

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