Baker Mayfield hosted a youth football camp on Wednesday and the Cleveland Browns quarterback took a moment to speak with media members on a variety of topics, including his contract extension.
Mayfield is entering his fourth year in the league and the Browns picked up his fifth-year option earlier this offseason, linking him to the team for at least the next two seasons. That being said, the Browns and Mayfield would like to get a long-term deal done that would bring some clarity for the future, although the former No. 1 overall pick isn’t exactly sweating it.
Mayfield is sticking to what he’s said all along when it comes to an extension.
“I think everything will play itself out,” Mayfield said, via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “I’m not worried about it at all. If we win, we’re heading in the right direction.”
Mayfield on Extension: ‘I’ve Bet on Myself my Whole Life’
It’s the same sentiment on the contract that Mayfield verbalized during minicamp, putting the team over his own contract situation.
“I have bet on myself my whole life. I have always taken it one day at a time and one play at a time,” Mayfield said back in June. “I am not going to handle it any differently now.”
Mayfield took a big leap in Year 3 with Kevin Stefanski running the show in Cleveland. He surged down the stretch, helping lead Cleveland to a playoff berth and first-round win against the Steelers, passing for 3,563 yards, 26 touchdowns, and — more importantly — a career-low eight interceptions.
While a deal hasn’t been completed yet, the Browns have backed Mayfield at every turn and it seems more a question of “when” not “if.”
“Baker, over the past year, has shown an enormous amount of growth, and I think that’s both on the field and then, quite honestly, off the field as well. So, we are excited,” Browns general manager Andrew Berry said of Mayfield in March, per Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk. “He’s going into his first offseason where the coaching staff, offensive system is exactly the same not to mention that there’s been very little turnover on the offensive side of the ball, and we’re excited about him continuing to make strides under Kevin [Stefansk]’s tutelage in this offense because we think he’s a very talented player.”
Mayfield Calls Vaccine a ‘Competitive Advantage’
A large topic of conversation heading into the season is the COVID-19 vaccine and the implications of a team hitting the threshold put in place by the league or not.
Players who have not been vaccinated must continue to get daily testing, wear masks and practice physical distancing. They won’t be allowed to eat meals with teammates, can’t participate in media or marketing activities while traveling, aren’t permitted to use the sauna or steam room and may not leave the team hotel or interact with people outside the team while traveling, per The Associated Press. Vaccinated players will not have any of those restrictions and teams above the 85% threshold will have fewer restrictions.
Mayfield called the vaccine a “competitive advantage” for teams and players who choose to do so.
“It definitely poses a competitive advantage for higher vaccine rates on your team just because of the close contact [rules] and what happens if somebody, unfortunately, does get COVID [and] what can happen to the rest of the building,” Mayfield said, per The Athletic’s Zac Jackson. “It’s a competitive advantage but it’s also way more than that. It’s about safety and just general health and well being of human life.”
The Browns are in “good shape” when it comes to reaching the threshold, but some Cleveland players have spoken out against getting the vaccine.