The Baker Mayfield situation has not been easy to follow this offseason, with a "will they, won't they" trade dance between the Cleveland Browns and their former No. 1 overall draft pick.
The quarterback is currently sitting squarely behind $230 million man Deshaun Watson on the depth chart. Still, Watson himself may be sitting on the bench all season if the NFL and the NFL Players Association's jointly appointed disciplinary officer, Sue L. Robinson, brings down the hammer with severe punishment.
If the Browns aren't getting Watson back this season, The Herd with Colin Cowherd co-host Joy Taylor believes it's in the best interest of everyone involved to form a partnership between the team and their new de-facto QB1 since his trade market is tepid at the moment.
“As I said yesterday, if they are going to be without Deshaun Watson for a year and you look at their current quarterback situation and you look at the situation for Baker Mayfield where he is in the league right now, he doesn't have any suitors. The Seahawks and the Carolina Panthers have been rumored to be interested reportedly interested in him but don't want to pay for him so they're not that interested in him."
Taylor questioned why it wasn't reasonable for the Browns to keep Mayfield if Watson's suspension exceeds eight games:
"So he doesn't really have a market. The Browns, even if they make that move, will likely have to pay some if not all of his contract. So why doesn't it make sense for both the Browns and for Baker if the suspension is more than eight games for them to keep Baker this year?"
Taylor shared her belief that a healthy Mayfield is better than emergency option Jacoby Brissett.
"He's got a guaranteed contract this year. He's gonna be an improvement year and will be a free agent next year. He doesn't have any suitors right now. No serious ones. And all the reports have indicated that they're cool with Jacoby Brissett being the guy. But Baker Mayfield is better, a healthy Baker Mayfield, is better than Jacoby Brissett, and we can look at their numbers. Look at the last time that Jacoby was a starter in the league."
Taylor added that she sees Brissett as a serviceable option under center:
"And I like Jacoby Brissett I think he's a perfectly serviceable backup. But Mayfield is considerably better for our radio audience. Baker wins more, has a higher completion percentage higher touchdown to interception ratio and a higher passer rating as well."
Baker Mayfield can do "great things with a great roster in a functional situation"
Taylor was high on Mayfield's ability to lead a team to success when all the puzzle pieces around him fit and he is right himself. She doubled down, saying he can "elevate a good roster," though noting he can't perform a miracle with a bad one:
"Baker can do things with a great roster in a functional situation. I don't know if he can say that about the Browns anymore. But he can elevate a good roster, what he can't do is elevate a bad roster and dysfunctional situation. So this would be a huge prove it year. Baker does well when he has a chip on his shoulder, we know that, not so much with the media and everyone else, but on the field, that is where he thrives."
Taylor reiterated the ideal situation for Cleveland and Baker Mayfield:
"So I maintain that this is the best situation for the browns and Baker Mayfield if we find out within the next few days that the suspension is going to be more than eight games.”
To his credit, Mayfield has maintained that he is open to a return. It'd just have to be Cleveland that makes the first step. Mayfield's exact words were: "There would have to be some reaching out" from the Browns' end.
If you use any of the quotes above, please credit The Herd with Colin Cowherd and H/T Sportskeeda.
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