The Cleveland Browns appear set on trading quarterback Baker Mayfield but Robert Griffin III believes his former squad should pump the brakes on any potential deal.
Mayfield has been on the trade block since Deshaun Watson arrived via blockbuster trade to take his job. However, a looming suspension for Watson has caused some uncertainty for the Browns, who have a roster ready to compete for a championship.
Griffin believes that the Browns should hang on to Mayfield and start him until Watson is ready to roll — whether that be in 6-8 games or a full season.
“I think the Browns should offer the olive branch to Baker and ask him to stay. If Deshaun Watson gets suspended for a significant amount of time. Baker’s proven that, you know, in this city, he can go win a playoff game, get you to the playoffs do all those things,” Griffin said while on the Rich Eisen Show. “Last year he played hurt and didn’t and what wasn’t very effective. But the bottom line is Baker Mayfield is better than Jacoby Brissett.”
Brissett has been thrown into some tough situations but his career record as a starter sits at 14-23. He has thrown for 7,742 yards, 36 touchdowns and 17 interceptions across 60 appearances. He’d be a decent fill-in for the Browns but doesn’t carry the history or upside Mayfield has when healthy.
RGIII: Browns Need to Mend Relationship With Mayfield
Being able to basically showcase his skills for a handful of games for the Browns would not be the worst-case situation for Mayfield. He’d play behind a strong offensive line, utilize a stellar ground game and has familiarity with head coach Kevin Stefanki’s offense.
It’s important for Mayfield’s future to show he can be a franchise quarterback, with his rookie deal ending after this season. The former top pick is coming off a down season where he completed 60.5% of his passes for 3,010 yards, 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He had surgery on a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder this offseason but will be ready to roll for training camp.
“[Watson] is going to be the quarterback there at some point, unless he’s suspended indefinitely, and some other things down the line happen. So I think the Browns would approach Baker and say we need you, we’re sorry how this all worked out. But we want to give you an opportunity to go out there and prove yourself. And I think Baker should take that.”
Baker Mayfield Said He’s Ready to Move On From Browns
Unfortunately, the idea of Mayfield sticking around in Cleveland seems farfetched at this point. Mayfield was asked about the idea of starting again for the Browns during his youth football camp on June 28 and sent a clear message about his perspective.
“I think for that to happen there would have to be some reaching out,” Mayfield told reporters during his youth football camp in Norman, Oklahoma. “But we’re ready to move on, I think — on both sides.”
Before the Watson trade went through, Mayfield requested a trade, feeling slighted by how things went down in the team’s pursuit of a new quarterback. And Mayfield doesn’t mind holding a grudge, so the chance that he ever wears orange and brown again is extremely slim.