To start, let me make it clear that I never felt the Browns needed to make a change at the quarterback position after this season with Baker Mayfield running the show. After all, the team went 11-5, beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs and went toe-to-toe with the Kansas City Chiefs in the next round. (Don’t want to be murdered by #BrownsTwitter)
Speaking of Twitter, Baker seems to be paying attention:
Now, this is something that is bothering me. People are pretending that Watson isn’t a great quarterback and are also pretending that Mayfield is amongst the likes of say a Tom Brady caliber quarterback. Where he’s proven everything and is certainly the franchise quarterback. No questions asked.
Yes, Baker looked great in the second half of this past season and has done enough to earn the nod as “franchise quarterback” from Browns fans aplenty. However, it’s not like he’s sporting multiple rings on his hand or anything of that nature…
Watson is heading into his second season of a four-year deal worth 156 million. The Browns have a decision to make if they want to sign Baker for his fifth-year option for the 2022 season. Hypothetically, if a trade were the be made, the Houston Texans would likely sign Baker to a long-term deal to replace what Watson has now.
Deshaun has requested a trade OUT of Houston after this past 4-12 season. The Browns should not give up very much else in addition to Baker if they were to make this trade and be the receivers of Watson. This means future draft picks or WR Odell Beckham Jr. amongst other players.
In the 2020 season, Watson threw for 4823 yards, 33 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. This compared to Baker’s 3563 yards, 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Ultimately, it will be up to the front office to decide if this team is better off with Baker Mayfield or Deshaun Watson at quarterback.
My personal opinion?
Ultimately, let me reinforce that I stick with Baker Mayfield. Remember? The guy that led this team to the playoffs for the first time since the ’02 season and won a playoff game for the first time since ’94. Yes, there is plenty for him to improve upon but replacing him and having a new guy learn the offense and get acclimated with the team is not necessary.