The Cleveland Browns have to decide soon whether or not Baker Mayfield is the future of the franchise at the quarterback position.
However, Browns general manager and executive vice president of football operations Andrew Berry isn’t getting caught up in that narrative.
“All I know is Baker’s played well and done a good job in the first eight weeks,” Berry said Monday while speaking to reporters. “Expect him to keep doing that over the second half of the year.”
That’s not to say Mayfield has been lights out so far during the Browns 5-3 campaign. Inconsistent would likely be the word to describe the former No. 1 overall pick, who has 15 touchdowns to 7 interceptions this season.
“Baker has done everything we have asked of him during these first eight weeks,” Berry said, per Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com. “He’s shown weekly improvement, has done a good job with the system and has put our team in a position to win.”
Browns Face Offseason Decision With Baker Mayfield
The Browns will be faced with the decision to pick up Mayfield’s fifth-year option this offseason, which would keep him with the franchise for at least two more seasons. It would also be a show of faith from the Browns that they see Mayfield as a long-term solution.
Mayfield acknowledged during the offseason that this would be a big contract year for him and that he had to be better after tossing 21 interceptions a year ago.
“There’s no doubt Year 3 is always a big year in these contracts,” Mayfield said. “Timing-wise, everybody knows that. I’m not going to put any added pressure on myself. There’s no need for that, because if I win, good things will happen.”
Mayfield struggled last week in a 16-6 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders in some wild weather. But in the week prior, Mayfield had probably his best game as a pro, setting the franchise record for consecutive completions and tossing a career-high five touchdowns. If he can do more of that — especially with Odell Beckham Jr. sidelined — it would give Berry and the Browns decision-makers more faith in seeing him as part of the future.
Andrew Berry: Odell Beckham Part of Future in Cleveland
Berry was also asked about the future of Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who suffered a season-ending ACL tear two weeks ago. Berry reinforced what he has said previously that the franchise sees Beckham as a key part of their future.
“He’s one of best WRs in NFL, played really good football before he was injured,” Berry said. “He’s embraced organization, our focus with Odell is making sure he recovers from torn ACL, we want him to be ready for next year.”
Berry revealed that Beckham will have surgery on his torn ACL next week.
There was much speculation over the weekend that the Browns could look to move on from Beckham after the injury. NFL Networks Ian Rapoport said, “There’s a very real possibility that he has played his final game with the Cleveland Browns.”
Beckham finished his second season in Cleveland with 23 catches on 43 targets for 319 yards and three touchdowns. He also added a rushing score.
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