Baker Mayfield will not attend the Cleveland Browns mandatory minicamp next week — a mutual decision reached by the team and quarterback.
The Browns excused Mayfield from the offseason activity, which the team dubbed “best for both parties,” per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, who first reported the news.
Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski was asked about Mayfield’s not attending during Wednesday’s OTA practice and repeated the sentiment.
“Obviously that was a decision make between our organization and Baker’s team,” Stefanski said. “We felt it was the best decision for both sides.”
Excusing Mayfield’s absence means he will avoid nearly $100,00 in fines. If he had sat out without the team’s consent, he would have owed $15,900 for Day 1, $31,961 for Day 2 and $47,936 for Day 3.
Browns minicamp will run from June 14-16 and the Browns have plans to visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton during that span.
“We’ll have a really good day’s work on Tuesday,” Stefanski said Monday from the Cleveland Browns Foundation Golf Tournament. “On Wednesday we’ll go down to the Hall of Fame as a team and practice down there and visit down there, which I think is so vitally important that we understand what’s come before us, the players, the coaches, the great teams that have come before us. We’re so fortunate to have the Pro Football Hall of Fame right down the road, so we’re going to take advantage of that on Wednesday.”
Browns Still Searching for Viable Trade Options
Considering Mayfield’s situation and standing with the team, letting him avoid mandatory minicamp seemed to be the only route for the Browns as they continue to look for a trade partner to take on the former top overall pick.
The closest the Browns got to a deal was with the Panthers during the draft, although it fell apart with the teams unable to agree on the amount of salary each side would take on. The Panthers wanted the Browns to pay more than $13 million of Mayfield’s contract, according to The Charlotte Observer.
Mayfield’s salary has been the sticking point in negotiations since the drama began, with the fifth-year quarterback slated to earn $18.9 million.
Mayfield completed 60.5% of his passes last season for 3,010 yards, 17 touchdowns against 13 interceptions. He had surgery on a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder this offseason but is expected to be ready to roll for training camp — wherever that may be.
Deshaun Watson’s Situation Becomes More Complicated
Aside from Mayfield, the Browns are also dealing with new information regarding quarterback Deshaun Watson legal situation. The New York Times reported Tuesday that Watson booked massage appointments with at least 66 different women over 17 months.
Additionally, another civil lawsuit was filed against Watson, bringing the total number to 24.
“We are unable to respond to the new lawsuit at this time,” Watson’s lawyer Rusty Hardin said in a statement on Monday. “Our legal team has not had time to investigate this new filing and had not heard her name until today. Deshaun continues to deny he did anything inappropriate with any of the plaintiffs.”
The Browns are awaiting the NFL’s decision on a possible suspension for Watson. If he misses time, Jacoby Brissett would draw the start.