The team spent the week courting Deshaun Watson, only to lose out on those sweepstakes. Mayfield responded with a farewell to the city of Cleveland, while the team was adamant he was still their starter.
ESPN's Adam Schefter revealed that Baker Mayfield officially requested a trade on Thursday, stating that his relationship with the Browns was beyond repair.
"Baker Mayfield just told ESPN: 'It’s in the mutual interest of both sides for us to move on. The relationship is too far fine to mend. It’s in the best interests of both sides to move on.'"
Just minutes after that news dropped, updates emerged that the team would not be honoring his request.
To summarize, Mayfield wants a trade because the Browns were seeking a better option in Watson. But they missed out and have since shifted their focus back to the former first overall pick.
Last season, Mayfield threw for 3,010 yards and recorded 17 touchdowns. Only time will tell if he will be able to live up to the lofty expectations of such a high draft selection.
This is just the latest example of dysfunction in Cleveland.
Cleveland Browns and Baker Mayfield are at a point of no return
Cleveland is in an incredibly difficult situation at the moment. By going after Watson, they made it clear to the rest of the NFL that they don't see Mayfield as a great long-term option. As such, his trade value has taken a huge hit. They are now trying to pretend like nothing happened.
Mayfield is set to play in the fifth-year of his option, worth roughly $18 million. That dollar amount is not going to be easy to move if the team is tanking his value on the market. They will have to hope that a team like the Seattle Seahawks or Indianapolis Colts sees the quarterback as an enticing reclamation project.
This is a shocking turn of events, considering he led the team to a playoff victory during the 2020 season. That had him in line for a massive contract extension, only to diminish his value while playing hurt during the 2021 season.
The front office openly sought an upgrade and must now live with the consequences of that action.