Browns Coach Sends Clear Message on Baker Mayfield

Getty Images Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns talks with head coach Kevin Stefanski.

Much has been made this week about the relationship between Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski and quarterback Baker Mayfield, with it being reported that there is tension between the two due to the team’s offensive system.

Mayfield took issue with a report from Mary Kay Cabot of that his relationship with head coach Kevin Stefanski was strained and that he’d consider a trade demand if the offense did not shift more to his strengths. Stefanski is the one that calls the offense and Cabot said that Mayfield must “resolve his differences” with his head coach to be able to co-exist next season.

The discord escalated to the point where Mayfield at times would’ve preferred offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt call the plays. But Stefanski kept the responsibility, and Mayfield grew increasingly frustrated.

Stefanski is never one to give too much insight on internal affairs and sent a concise, clear message on his relationship with Mayfield.

“I would say it is no different [from last year],” Stefanski told reporters on Friday, January 7. “A good relationship.”

Stefanski had previously weighed in on how he and Mayfield get along and understands that there was some frustration due to the team not winning.

“In terms of relationship with any of the players, I think it is something we always as coaches work on and try to challenge our guys and support our guys so I feel no different with Baker,” Stefanski said. “I know it is easy to look at the frustration that we have had offensively and you want to pin it all on one player, and that is just totally unfair. That would be my answer to that.”

Baker Mayfield Called Out Report on Trade Demand

Mayfield has remained fairly quiet since it was announced that he wouldn’t be playing in Week 18, instead opting for surgery on his injured non-throwing shoulder. But the report from Cabot didn’t sit well with the quarterback — who has said in the past that he doesn’t digest anything in the media.

Mayfield responded, calling the report clickbait and accusing Cabot and other local media of stirring up drama.

“Clickbait. You and many other Cleveland local media continue to be drama stirring reporters with no sources or facts,” Mayfield tweeted Thursday afternoon. “Don’t put words in my mouth so you can put food on your table. I’m not your puppet.”

Mayfield Has Voiced Concerns With Offense Previously

It’s not very far out there to think that Mayfield could have some concerns about the offense, considering the passing game sputtered for most of the season. On top of that, Mayfield shared after the Browns 26-14 Week 17 loss to the Steelers that he wasn’t too happy with the game plan for his protection.

“Their front’s pretty good, it has been for years,” Mayfield told reporters after the game. “When you’ve got TJ Watt over there and you’re not giving your rookie tackle [James Hudson III] much help, it’s not going to be good.”

He didn’t exactly give a ringing endorsement of the offense as a whole, either.

“There have been a lot of ups and downs. Do I believe I could play better? Absolutely,” he said. “Do I believe there are positions that we as an offense could’ve been put in that would’ve been better? Absolutely. There are so many critiques throughout the year. If not, we wouldn’t be sitting here at 7-9.”

We’ll see if the Browns ultimately decide that Mayfield is a viable option or if they decide to go in another direction this offseason.

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