Browns GM Andrew Berry Reveals Plan For Baker Mayfield Trade

Baker Mayfield

Getty Images Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.

The Cleveland Browns are playing the long game on a Baker Mayfield trade and are willing to be patient to land the right deal.

Browns general manager Andrew Berry spoke to reporters on Tuesday via Zoom and gave some insight on the team’s mindset when it comes to their quarterback room, which includes Deshaun Watson, Jacoby Brissett and a disgruntled Mayfield.

“I wouldn’t say we have a specific timetable for the QB room,” Berry said, per Zac Jackson of The Athletic. “Baker is a professional, he’s under contract, and we have the [cap] flexibility whether he’s on the roster or not. So we don’t really feel pressed to rush into anything that’s suboptimal.”

It’s a bit of a change of pace from head coach Kevin Stefanski, who told reporters on Monday that the Browns were hoping to get some closure on the Mayfield front.

The statement is a maneuver from Berry to train to gain some leverage in a situation where the Browns really have none in trading Mayfield. The former top pick is due nearly $19 million for next season on the fifth and final year of his contract and teams have not been eager to take that on, especially with Mayfield coming off surgery on his non-throwing shoulder.


Berry on Baker: ‘Can’t Have Enough Good Players’

Berry ran back a similar line to when tight end David Njoku requested a trade in 2019, saying, “You can’t have enough good players on your roster.”

“The reality of it is, quarterbacks are valuable,” Berry said. “Baker’s a good player and you can’t have enough good players on your roster. We’ve already planned to make it work and we’ll just see how the next few weeks ago, the next few months go.”

There are multiple teams around the league willing to pounce on Mayfield if he’s released, per Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports. However, releasing Mayfield would be a major loss for the Browns, who would have to simply eat his salary with no return.

Mayfield’s tenure has been a mixed bag in Cleveland. He had a stellar rookie campaign and led the team to their first postseason berth in nearly two decades during the 2020 season. But last season, Mayfield tossed just 17 touchdowns to 13 interceptions, slumping down the stretch as the team finished 8-9.


Mayfield Could Start if Watson is Hit With Suspension

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport laid out a situation earlier this month where the Browns could actually start Mayfield if Watson is handed a suspension by the NFL under terms of the league’s Personal Conduct Policy in connection with 22 civil lawsuits by massage therapists accusing him of sexual misconduct.

“I don’t get the sense the Browns are going to release him,” Rapoport said on NFL Network on Friday. “Certainly not imminently, maybe ever. And here’s why: Deshaun Watson may at some point be suspended. Baker Mayfield was a good enough quarterback to start for four years for the Cleveland Browns and would be their starting quarterback if they did not trade for Deshaun Watson. So there is a scenario where the Browns do nothing, Deshaun Watson gets suspended and Baker Mayfield ends up starting. It’s not great for anyone, but that’s at least in the mind of the Cleveland Browns as a possibility.”

Berry seemed to hint at that angle as well, sounding happy about having three good options on the depth chart.

“I think as we look at the QB room, we have three good players at the most important position in sports,” Berry said. “That’s not to say that there aren’t things that we’re going to work through over the course of the next several months, but I don’t view it as a bad situation at all. We feel like we have three good ones and a lot of teams are looking for one guy, so you don’t mind being deep there and we’ll take it as it goes.”

 

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