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Baker Mayfield fires back at Deshaun Watson to Cleveland Browns speculation

5 stars who will prove haters wrong during 2021 NFL season
Jan 10, 2021; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) reacts against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first quarter of an AFC Wild Card playoff game at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Baker Mayfield helped the Cleveland Browns win their first playoff game since 1994. Now, after playing a key role in this team’s turnaround, Mayfield is firing back at those suggesting the Browns replace him with Deshaun Watson.

Cleveland’s offense performed extremely well this season, with Mayfield stepping up his game after a disappointing 2019 campaign. Even without Odell Beckham Jr., Mayfield helped the Browns finish with an 11-5 record behind his 26-8 TD-INT ratio, 95.9 quarterback rating and 3,563 passing yards.

Related: Could a Baker Mayfield contract extension be coming with the Cleveland Browns?

After getting their first taste of the NFL Playoffs in years, though, many in Cleveland are hoping for even more next season. With Deshaun Watson demanding a trade this offseason, it’s led to recent speculation from fans and writers about the Browns making a run at the superstar quarterback.

Needless to say, Mayfield isn’t a fan of the idea.

Baker Mayfield reacts to Deshaun Watson trade speculation

Watson has made it clear he will never play another snap for the Houston Texans. So, while the team is attempting to salvage the relationship, a blockbuster trade feels inevitable this offseason. With the rumors surrounding Watson, regarding the cost to acquire him and potential landing spots, some have suggested the Browns make a move.

It seems Baker Mayfield is very aware of those in Cleveland suggesting a blockbuster trade. After putting up with tweets for days, the 25-year-old responded to a post telling the Browns to pursue a trade for Watson.

It’s understandable why Mayfield would take this personally. Those calling for Cleveland to acquire Watson send a clear message that they believe he would be a significant upgrade over the team’s current quarterback. Plus, given what it would cost the Browns to pull off a trade, that would likely mean sending Mayfield to the Texans.

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Given the issues in Houston that Watson has brought attention to, it’s hard to blame Mayfield for wanting no part of a trade. Especially since he played a role in snapping the Browns’ playoff drought, delivering a postseason victory for this fan base and doing it against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Watson would still provide a monumental upgrade at quarterback in Cleveland. Mayfield had a vastly better supporting cast, including his coaching staff, in the 2020 season. With all of that, he averaged 7.3 yards per attempt, completed 62.8% of his pass attempts and ranked 16th among PFF’s highest-graded quarterbacks (81.6).

Compare that to Watson. Even after the DeAndre Hopkins trade and with one of the NFL’s worst offensive lines, he played at an elite level this season. Watson received PFF’s third-highest grade (92.5) among quarterbacks this season and set career-highs in quarterback rating (112.4), passing yards (4,823), completion rate (70.2) and finished with a 33-7 TD-INT ratio.

Baker Mayfield doesn’t have to worry, the Browns have already made it clear they are committed to him. However, with Watson under center, this team would likely be a top Super Bowl contender in 2021.