The Cleveland Browns quarterback saga saw the franchise put Baker Mayfield through the proverbial ringer as they searched for his replacement. Ultimately, Mayfield’s trade demand and a reported plan to hold out might have culminated in the Deshaun Watson deal.
Tension between the two sides ramped up earlier this offseason. As Cleveland ramped up its evaluation of the available quarterback options, Mayfield was left pondering his future. When the Browns first learned Watson wouldn’t play for them, it pivoted to a reaffirmed commitment to Mayfield.
It backfired on Cleveland. After learning the Browns met with Watson and seeing reports that the organization wanted an ‘adult’ at quarterback, Mayfield posted a farewell letter to the fans and requested a trade.
- Baker Mayfield stats (2021): 3,010 passing yards, 17-13 TD-INT ratio, 60.5% completion rate
At the time, the Browns rejected the request and made it clear Mayfield would be stuck in Cleveland. According to Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot, that’s when things escalated.
Mayfield reportedly hit his “breaking point” with the franchise after it met with Watson. After learning of that, the former No. 1 pick intended to skip the offseason program, likely would have skipped training camp and planned to never play for the Browns again.
Staring down the possibility of not even having Mayfield, the Browns likely upped their contract offer to Watson. It sealed the deal just hours after he eliminated the franchise from the bidding war to land him.
Mayfield’s intentions are even more interesting when related to Watson. The Pro Bowl quarterback demanded a trade in January 2021. When the Texans refused to move him, he sat out the entire season.
A year later, Watson got exactly what he wanted and it came with $230 million guaranteed. As for Mayfield, the Browns will likely trade him in a matter of days.