The comments from Mayfield came from an exchange with sideline reporter Cynthia Frelund of the NFL Network. During her August 29 appearance on the “Around the NFL” podcast, she shared the exchange that she had with Mayfield after the Panthers’ final preseason game. She asked him specifically about the Panthers opener, which will come against the Browns on September 11.
“I walked up to him and said, ‘I’m so excited to see you, like, go kick some butt,’ I didn’t say that word,” Frelund said. “… Go kick some butt, especially Week 1, I like cannot wait. And he uses some expletives and I was like, ‘I just hope you’re like ready.’ He was like, ‘I’m gonna bleep them up.”
Myles Garrett: ‘We’ll Take It and We’ll Use It’
Garrett said he doesn’t hold the comments against Mayfield and has come to expect that kind of statement from his former QB.
“We’ve known he has that type of demeanor and that attitude, and for better or for worse, it works for him,” Garrett told cleveland.com on Tuesday. “And I’m not mad at him using that fire and that chip on his shoulder to help him play to the level he has. He’s been successful in what he’s done.”
Garrett is coming off a year where he notched a franchise-record 16 sacks. He admitted he’ll be extra motivated to get to Mayfield when game day arrives.
“We’ll take it and we’ll use it, and I’m hoping for a great matchup,” Garrett said. “I don’t think any less of him because he’s going out there and doing the same thing he did when he was with us. He’s the same guy personally, and maybe we’ll see a different Baker when we get on the field. Who knows?”
In his usual fashion, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski took the high road when it came to the comments from his former quarterback, sidestepping any controversy.
“I am not going to get involved in that type of thing,” Stefanski told reporters. “As you know, it is Carolina week. I get how unique it is that Baker is the starting quarterback for the Panthers. We are really going to focus on putting a plan together to beat the Panthers. That is really the focus.”
Meanwhile, Frelund responded to her exchange with Mayfield going viral, saying it was being made a bigger deal than it needed to be.
“Oh boy, this is silly,” she tweeted on Tuesday. “Don’t make this more than it is. I was wishing him good luck, colorfully. He agreed with me, colorfully. What do you expect anyone to do in this situation.”
Mayfield Said Matchup With Browns Has Extra Meaning
Mayfield completed 60.5% of his passes for 3,010 yards, 17 touchdowns against 13 interceptions last season. The Browns backed him after the disappointing season but eyed other options to upgrade the position. They openly and aggresivley courted Watson — who initially denied them — and Mayfield demanded a trade. Watson later changed course and landed with the Browns via a March blockbuster, which left Mayfield in limbo for the majority of the offseason.
He’s now with the Panthers and was named the starter in camp. And as fate would have it, he’ll see his former team in Week 1, which is something he’s looking forward to.
“I’m not going to sit here and be a robot and tell you that’s not one I’ve marked on the calendar already,” Mayfield said in an interview posted July 12 on the Panthers’ team website. “Obviously, this one has a little more history and personal meaning, but for me, it’s about winning and setting the tone for the rest of the year, and however I can help this team do that, I’m going to do.”
The Browns are listed as a slight 1.5-point underdog for the opener.