Baker Mayfield finds it hilarious.
Mayfield — the No. 1 overall pick of the Browns in 2018 — is fresh off leading Cleveland to its first playoff win in over a quarter-century. He proved he could be a franchise quarterback with a stellar year, passing for 3,563 yards, 26 touchdowns and a career-low eight interceptions last season. He was especially sharp down the stretch when the games mattered most.
On Thursday, Mayfield responded to an article posted with the headline: “It’s time for the Cleveland Browns to think about Deshaun Watson.”
Mayfield reposted the article with the message, “Some of y’all ‘browns’ are funny,” with the OK emoji. He also pinned the tweet, a sign that it could be used as some long-term motivation.
Browns Are Committed to Mayfield
The Browns have a decision to make on Mayfield this offseason. They can either sign the 25-year-old to a long-term extension — as they did with Myles Garrett last offseason — or pick up his fifth-year option, locking him up for the next two seasons.
While the front office in Cleveland has been mum on their plans, it seems certain that they view Mayfield as the franchise’s quarterback of the future.
“I think you guys know me well enough at this point that in terms of contracts, I do not think that this is really the appropriate forum to really talk about those decisions,” Browns general manager Andrew Berry said during his season-end press conference. “[Baker] did an excellent job this year. He led us to first playoff appearance in eons. We got 12 wins, played winning football all year developed a really strong relationship with Kevin [Stefanski] and the offensive staff and really … he really thrives on a weekly basis both on and off the field. We are very, very pleased with him. We would not be where we were at the end of the season without his performance. He had a really tremendous season.”
This offseason will be the first of Mayfield’s professional career in which he won’t have to learn a new offense. That will more than likely keep him on his current upward trajectory. Getting wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. back from injury should also help his cause in 2021.
Watson Has Officially Requested Trade
The situation with Watson is a complicated one for the Texans, who just inked the franchise signal-caller to a four-year, $156 million extension last September.
The three-time Pro Bowler wants out — evident from his official trade request reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Thursday — but he also has a no-trade clause, meaning he can basically dictate his next destination.
Fortunately for Watson, there are plenty of quarterback-needy teams expected to make a run for his services. However, the chances Cleveland will be one of them is a massive longshot.
The Browns are +10,000 to land Watson, per BetMGM, putting them in the bottom tier of potential suitors. Only the Arizona Cardinals (+15,000), Baltimore Ravens (+15,000), Buffalo Bills (+15,000), Seattle Seahawks (+15,000), Green Bay Packers (+20,000) and Kansas City Chiefs (+25,000) have worse odds.
The New York Jets (+200) and Miami Dolphins (+400) are current frontrunners to land Watson and would be much more willing to pay up to acquire the 25-year-old star.
Watson, the No. 12 overall pick in 2017, led the NFL in regular-season passing yards this season with 4,823. He also tossed 33 touchdowns to just seven interceptions, a new career low.