Baker Mayfield was asked at a youth camp in Oklahoma whether or not he would suit up for the Browns during any time that Deshaun Watson misses for suspension. Despite Mayfield’s direct answer, this is a complicated situation that is going to create a lot of ire and animosity in the NFL twitter-sphere. The answer is actually really simple.
Cleveland Brown management sent a very clear statement to Baker: we don’t want you. In fact, we have decided that we would rather have someone that did not play last year and is undergoing over 20 lawsuits for sexual harrassment more than you and your decent body of work in community service in Cleveland. We decided that even though you led us out of obscurity to a playoff berth doesn’t really mean crap to us because a guy that has a career 28-26 record, per StatMuse, is more preferable than you. Basically, the Browns said “you suck”.
Let’s put this into perspective, Baker Mayfield led the Browns to their first playoff win since 2020, and their first playoff road victory since 1969. Deshaun Watson led the Texans to a 1-2 playoff record, compared to Baker’s 1-1 record. The Browns could not have been clearer that they do not believe that a guy that played the entire season with a torn labrum was worth trusting in anymore. Everyone has justified this trade based on Baker’s lack of production this last year. HE WAS FREAKING HURT!! Baker could have tapped out and saved his stats. His 2020 numbers showed huge improvement over the previous year’s performance. Actually, let’s look at the last time both Baker and Deshaun played in the same year; Baker went 11-5 while Deshaun went 4-12. Baker sold out his body to be there for a team that just sold him out for a shiny new toy.
I can sum this up in a way that we can all understand. Let me create a dialog for you:
Boss: Hey I want you to know that I am replacing you.
You: Wait, haven’t I given my all to the organization?
You: Haven’t I helped us reach numbers that we haven’t seen in a decades? Didn’t we just have our best year in decades?
You: So, what did I do wrong?
Boss: Well, you suck because you had a bad 2021.
You: You mean the year that I had cancer and still came to work most days in excruciating pain?
Boss: Um, I didn’t hear you. Besides, we are going to go with this dude to replace you that is all the rage right now.
You: Isn’t he all the rage for all the wrong reasons? Isn’t he on trial for dozens of accounts of sexual harassment?
Boss: Yeah, about that. We might need you to fill in while he sorts his lawsuits out.
You: Screw you.
No one would blame you for saying that to your boss. Any rational person would agree if you walked out of the building that very day. Baker is justified by saying that he does not want to suit up for an organization that betrayed him. We should all see that refusing to come back to work is justifiable.
The money issue is where it gets tricky. I am still in favor of Baker getting his money. I don’t think, as Cleveland management, that you can put Baker on the field after what you did to him. I would hope that Baker loves his teammates enough to go all out, but there is the possibility that he would sabotage the team. The Browns created this issue and need to pay the price, literally and figuratively. The issue now is what you do as a NFL fan. Simple, you need to boycott the Cleveland Browns until they apologize publicly to Baker, to his family, and to everyone that has ever watched a NFL game.