Former QB Puts Browns on Notice for Baker Mayfield Trade Saga

Baker Mayfield

Getty Images Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns.

The trade drama between the Cleveland Browns and Baker Mayfield has stretched on longer than anyone would have imagined, and former NFL quarterback Chris Simms said he thought the franchise screwed over the former top pick.

Simms said the Browns have done Mayfield dirty, basically leaving him in limbo following their acquisition of Deshaun Watson.

“They did Baker Mayfield dirty and so has everybody else,” Simms said on the June 2 episode of “Pro Football Talk Live.” “Cleveland has done Baker Mayfield dirty. The media has done Baker Mayfield dirty. The fact people have thrown him away and cast him as a low-level starter, I think, is wrong.”

Mayfield would agree. Earlier this offseason the outspoken quarterback said he felt disrespected by how the Browns handled their pursuit of Watson.

“I have no regrets of my time in Cleveland, of what I tried to give to that place,” Mayfield said on the April 13 episode of “YNK: you know what I mean?” “The respect thing is all going to be a personal opinion. I feel disrespected, 100%. I was told one thing, and they completely did another.”

Simms: Baker Mayfield’s Arm Is Special

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Teams have been unwilling to take on Mayfield mostly due to the $18.8 million he’s owed for next season, which is also complicated by the Browns holding very little leverage in negotiations. The Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks have been the teams featuring most prominently in rumors, but both would want the Browns to eat a giant chunk of Mayfield’s salary in a deal.

Mayfield’s talent is not so much the issue, although much of the conversation usually ends up there following a year when the Heisman winner played through a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder, tossing just 17 touchdowns to 13 interceptions.

“When you go back and watch Baker Mayfield, and when you watch him healthy. … There’s a lot of wow factor,” Simms said. “There’s a lot of things to like about his game. He is a good NFL starting quarterback who has the potential to be, in my opinion, kind of a top 10 quarterback. His arm is that special.”

Simms: Mayfield Is a Starting Quarterback

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Mayfield has acknowledged that his career has been a mixed bag, and that isn’t entirely his fault. He had four head coaches over his first three seasons and his relationship with current Cleveland skipper Kevin Stefanski seemed to deteriorate toward the end of last season.

“I had great times my rookie year. I didn’t start in the beginning. I came in and had fun in the back half of the year. 2019 sucked. 2020 was great, made the playoffs. 2021 was miserable,” Mayfield said on the podcast in April. “I’m just looking for stabilization right now.”

Mayfield’s next stop will be big for his NFL future. Now in the final year of his rookie deal, he needs to get on the field to prove to teams that he can be a productive starter in the league, setting him up for a new contract.

“He’s getting crushed and killed because he played tough through injury and people are holding that against him and it’s not right,” Simms said. “And he is a starting quarterback, and it’s amazing he’s still sitting here in limbo because of Cleveland… because of Cleveland, Baker Mayfield’s career and this season is in limbo as far as what the hell is going to happen.”

Simms ranked Mayfield as the No. 17 quarterback in the league in his annual rankings, which sort through the top 40 passers in the league.

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