Baker Mayfield is in quite an awkward situation with the Cleveland Browns. He has stated he wants to be traded because the team has moved on to newly acquired quarterback Deshaun Watson.
However, as the legal troubles surrounding Watson continue to mount, the Browns are also left in a tough spot. Watson is increasingly likely to face severe punishment from the NFL, perhaps even a year-long (or longer) ban.
If that happens, the Browns would be left without a quarterback in a prime contending year. That may be why they've not released or traded Mayfield, who wants nothing to do with them.
Carey Murdock, an Oklahoma-based reporter (where Mayfield attended college), asked Mayfield whether there was any chance of him returning to the Browns. The quarterback gave an interesting answer.
According to Murdock via Twitter, Mayfield didn't shut down the idea of returning. When asked about playing for Cleveland, Mayfield said the Browns would have to reach out to start that process.
Murdock wrote in his tweet:
"I asked Baker Mayfield if there was any chance for a reconciliation with the Browns if they were without their quarterback this season. He said the Browns would have to reach out to start that process. Mayfield said he has moved on."
The former record-setting quarterback did say he'd moved on, but he didn't say it was impossible for him to return to Cleveland. That at least leaves the Browns with a potential backup plan if Watson is suspended or worse.
In another tweet, Murdock reported:
"'No. I think for that to happen there would have to be some reaching out. But we’re ready to move on, I think, on both sides.' - Baker Mayfield when asked if a reconciliation could be reached if Watson had to sit out this season."
However, the Browns will likely have to beg their quarterback to return. He said he felt disrespected by the team since they were so quick to move on from him despite him largely being the most promising quarterback they've had in recent memory.
The Browns may be left with no other choice, though, which makes their initial decision to go after Watson a mistake in hindsight.
Why Baker Mayfield might end up being the Browns QB once again
The Browns traded for Deshaun Watson despite 26 cases of sexual assault lobbied against him. They conducted an internal investigation and decided to make the trade and extend him anyway.
However, the league faces mounting pressure to do something about the Watson situation.
Several NFL media personalities, including Pat McAfee, believe Watson should be severely punished. McAfee went so far as to call Watson a predator:
"I would like everybody to know that we very much understand how serious these allegations are and what is being alleged that this dude is a f*****g predator. Okay. Like that is real. That is very real. Just from the allegations now, we would like justice to be served to the 100th degree one way or the other, whatever it is."
The league handed out severe punishment to Calvin Ridley, who bet on games. Watson, whose charges are much worse, might face something even worse.
If you use any of the quotes above, please credit Carey Murdock and Pat McAfee, and H/T Sportskeeda.