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

By Vincent Frank
Jan 3, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) celebrates after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-22 at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Now that he led the Cleveland Browns to their best performance in over a quarter-century, a Baker Mayfield contract extension will be the talk of Ohio this coming season.

Mayfield, 25, entered the 2020 campaign with a ton of questions about his legitimacy as a starter-caliber quarterback after some major struggles. He now enters the 2021 offseason as the Browns’ franchise quarterback. It’s been a major turnaround for the No. 1 pick, and it could have Cleveland backing up the Brinks Truck for the quarterback.

Related: Top 50 NFL free agents of 2021.

Browns GM talks Baker Mayfield contract extension

Cleveland Browns Baker Mayfield contract extension?
Jan 10, 2021; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) runs off the field after the AFC Wild Card playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

“There will be plenty of time for those discussions with all the 2021 decisions,” general manager Andrew Berry said, via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “I think it’s probably just easier to say that I’m really pleased with Baker’s performance, really pleased with what he’s done this year. We wouldn’t be here without his contributions.”

If we’re to read between the lines here, Berry did not say one way or another whether extension talks would take place here soon. What we do know is that Mayfield is eligible for said extension after having played three NFL seasons.

He joins Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen as young quarterbacks who could receive lucrative long-term deals during the offseason. For good reason.

Baker Mayfield stats in 2020

The former Heisman winner started out the 2020 season pretty much like he ended the previous year. Struggling big time. But something seemed to click for Mayfield from Week 7 on. The differences were stark, as suggested by his splits.

  • First six weeks: 60.6% completion, 1,095 yards, 10 touchdowns, six interceptions (84.3 rating)
  • Final 10 weeks: 63.9% completion, 2,468 yards, 16 touchdowns, two interceptions (102.1 rating)

It’s not a coincidence that Cleveland boasted a 7-3 record in this final 10 starts. Mayfield was at the top of his game. Berry suggested as much in the comments we quoted above.

What might a Baker Mayfield contract extension look like?

Will a Baker Mayfield contract look like Deshaun Watson's deal?
Nov 8, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) throws a pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

That’s the multi-million dollar question here. He’s not going to get deals similar to what we saw from Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson last offseason. Those two quarterbacks had proven it for multiple years.

There’s also a chance that the Browns wait until the 2022 offseason to extend Mayfield, though, that would come with a risk of the quarterback market continuing to reset itself.

For now, a four-year deal averaging out to the top-10 quarterbacks in the NFL could make sense. This would equate to a four-year, $140 million extension for Mayfield.

It could make sense for both sides moving forward. Time will tell on that front. For now, the Browns and their fans have to be excited about what they saw from Baker Mayfield this past season.

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