Browns Star LB Swipes Baker Mayfield’s Old Jersey Number

Baker Mayfield

Getty Images Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns.

The jersey No. 6 is one of the more polarizing for Cleveland Browns fans, belonging for years to the sometimes-loved — yet often-maligned — QB Baker Mayfield. However, the digit now resides on the chest of a big-time Browns defender with star potential.

Over the weekend, third-year starting linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah claimed the jersey number for the 2023 campaign. Cleveland’s official Twitter account released a photo of Owusu-Koramoah donning the No. 6 as part of a tweet announcing the news on Saturday morning, July 22.

“[Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah] taking it back to his [Notre Dame] football days 💪!” the Browns tweeted.

QB Baker Mayfield’s Tumultuous Stint With Browns Slowly Fading From Memory

Baker Mayfield

GettyFormer Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Mayfield hasn’t been a member of the Browns organization since the franchise traded him to the Carolina Panthers in July 2022 for a conditional draft pick that ended up as a fifth-rounder. No player claimed the No. 6 in Cleveland last season, though Owusu-Koramoah’s connection to the figure made him a viable candidate to take it in 2023.

Now that he has, the last words in the epilogue of the Mayfield saga in Cleveland feel as though they have finally been written. As to what kind of story the quarterback’s ultimately was with the Browns, that is open to the interpretation of the proverbial reader.

Mayfield started hot, throwing for 27 touchdowns during his rookie campaign — seemingly the same amount of national commercial campaigns he starred in upon entering the NFL. The quarterback regressed the following year, throwing for nearly as many interceptions (21) as he did touchdowns (22) and leading Cleveland to a subpar 6-10 mark, per Pro Football Reference.

Then came 2020, the glory days for Mayfield in a Browns uniform. He eclipsed 3,500 passing yards for the third consecutive year, tallied 26 TDs compared to just 8 INTs and led the franchise to an 11-5 record and its first postseason appearance since 2002.

Mayfield subsequently captained the Browns to their first playoff victory since 1994 by defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers during Wildcard Weekend, hanging 48 points on the AFC North Division rival in the process. Cleveland lost a close contest to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional Round the following week.

The 2021 campaign was less successful, as the Browns regressed to an 8-9 record and Mayfield hurt his shoulder near the end of the campaign. A few months later, a Browns franchise that refused to extend Mayfield on his desired terms offered a five-year, fully-guaranteed $230 million deal to QB Deshaun Watson, and the tumultuous marriage between Cleveland and Mayfield essentially came to its end.

Mayfield found himself in Carolina approximately four months later. He didn’t last there long, starting six games for the Panthers before they waived him in December. The Los Angeles Rams claimed Mayfield off of waivers one day later, starting him in four games down the stretch of the 2022 season. The QB signed a one-year deal worth $4 million in March to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah Poised for Breakout Season in Cleveland

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah

GettyLinebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah of the Cleveland Browns.

Meanwhile, Owusu-Koramoah is just beginning to write the story of his time with the Browns.

Cleveland selected the linebacker with the No. 52 overall pick in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Since then, Owusu-Koramoah has not disappointed — when he’s been able to stay on the field. The LB missed three games as a rookie and six contests last season, the latter absences due primarily to a foot injury he sustained during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on December 11, 2022.

The Browns made significant upgrades to the defensive front this offseason, including the additions of Dalvin Tomlinson and Za’Darius Smith, both most recently of the Minnesota Vikings. If healthy, Owusu-Koramoah should benefit greatly from the team’s improved defensive line, giving him a legitimate shot to make a Pro Bowl if he can continue playing as well in pass coverage and against the run as he did last year.

Read More