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Baker Mayfield is never playing for the Browns again no matter what happens

Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns
Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns
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Steven Kubitza

The Cleveland Browns continue to hold onto Baker Mayfield as the 2022 season draws closer and there are seemingly no takers for the former first-overall pick. The rest of the NFL appears content to sit back, watch the Browns implode and enjoy the show.

The plan in Cleveland was simple from the start. They landed Deshaun Watson, who was not supposed to be the franchise quarterback. Veterans Jacoby Brissett and Joshua Dobbs were signed as backups, completing the quarterback depth chart.

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Yet obviously the simplicity of it all has faded away with the ongoing allegations against Deshaun Watson. A 24th civil lawsuit has been filed, featuring even more disturbing allegations featuring sexual misconduct and harassment. His 2022 status remains in serious doubt as the NFL decides on punishment.

This has created a narrative in the sports world of Mayfield sticking around and leading the team in 2022. He is still under contract on his fifth-year option and could realistically step in and get his old job back. The only problem with this narrative is that there is zero chance of it happening.

Baker Mayfield and the Browns are past the point of no return

Cleveland Browns Introduce Quarterback Deshaun Watson
Cleveland Browns Introduce Quarterback Deshaun Watson

There is one glaring problem when discussing a potential return for the quarterback. There was a real war of words fought between the franchise and player when the Browns were pursuing Watson.

No one will forget when a report leaked saying the Browns felt Mayfield wasn't mature enough to lead the franchise. The quarterback put in a trade request, gave an interview about feeling disrespected, and the rest is history.

There was also no public reconciliation between the two sides. The team signed three quarterbacks and left no room for the former first-overall pick to return even in the wildest of scenarios. Signing Brissett signalled the backup plan in case Watson missed any amount of time.

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The quarterback of any football team is supposed to be the unquestioned leader. He needs the respect of his teammates and of the entire organization. The Browns openly gave up on Mayfield and dragged him through the media. There is no going back from that as a return would be far too awkward for both parties.

Fans must also remember that Mayfield is in a contract year. If the Browns have no plans to keep him around beyond 2022, playing him will not help the future of the franchise. Any struggles he would face would only lead to further turmoil and potentially a very ugly situation.

The Browns knew what they were getting into with Watson. At this point, while a suspension is likely, nothing is certain. Yet what seems clear is that there is no spot on the team for Mayfield. That is true in terms of general cohesion and the 53-man roster as a whole.


live poll LIVE POLL

Q. Is there any way back for Baker Mayfield in Cleveland?

Yes

No

242 votes so far

Edited by John Maxwell
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