Baker Mayfield has broken his silence.
The quarterback spoke for the first time since the Cleveland Browns acquired Deshaun Watson, a move that signals the likely end of Mayfield's tenure with the team that drafted him.
"I feel disrespected, 100 percent," Mayfield said on the the "Ya Neva Know: You Know What I Mean?" podcast. "Because I was told one thing and they completely did another. That’s what I’m in the middle of right now. And you know what? OK. I got my taste of it because I’ve had four different head coaches in four years, a bunch of different coordinators. I’ve had the highs and they always come back."
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The Browns traded a package that included three first-round picks for Watson on March 18. They then signed him to a record-breaking, fully-guaranteed five-year, $230 million contract despite Watson's ongoing legal issues after a series of sexual assault, harassment and misconduct allegations were levied against him.
Amid the Browns' interest in trading for Watson, Mayfield posted a thank you message to Cleveland fans and ultimately requested a trade.
Mayfield initially hoped to land with the Indianapolis Colts, who instead acquired Matt Ryan from the Atlanta Falcons. Mayfield, set to make a guaranteed salary of $18.86 million next season, mentioned on the podcast that the Seattle Seahawks remain a potential landing spot.
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"Seattle would probably be the most likely option," he said. "I’m really excited for the next chapter. I know I have this one year to do as much as I possibly can…I’m having to prove myself to earn that second contract.’’
The 26-year-old Mayfield has been Cleveland's starting quarterback since being selected first overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. He led the Browns to their first playoff victory since 1995 during his career season in 2020. He regressed last season during an injury plagued year, recording career lows of 3,010 passing yards and 17 touchdowns in 14 games as Cleveland finished 8-9.
“I really, truly have no regrets of my time in Cleveland of what I tried to give that place,’’ Mayfield said. “True Clevelanders and true Browns fans know that. And that’s why I can walk away from the whole situation feeling like I did it.’’