“No Pain! No Pain! Eye of The Tiger!” – That’s what quarterback Baker Mayfield’s coach was telling him throughout the season as the young man was fighting such a difficult shoulder injury that is requiring surgery.
Okay, enough with the ROCKY references, Zach.
Now, the debate with Mayfield and his struggles this past season is how much of it was from the shoulder and how much of it was just from sucking. Take this photo for example:
This was a sack 😢 pic.twitter.com/w3Qyb320k1
— Cleveland Sports Talk (@CLEsportsTalk) January 4, 2022
That sack has nothing to do with a shoulder problem, but simply the poor decision-making from Mayfield. Thus, this is where the debate comes to fruition completely.
However, Mayfield has proven that he is capable of playing quarterback in past years. After all, he led the Browns to the playoffs and a playoff win over the Steelers in 2020. Even with this great accomplishment, there are so many negatives to take into account.
“Baker Mayfield has thrown the most interceptions (54) of any quarterback in the NFL since entering the league in 2018.”
Wow. That’s a terrible statistic to have attached to your name as a quarterback. A lot of that comes to the aforementioned decision-making and less about the shoulder issue.
Even so, with all of the reporting about the exit meetings that the Browns had with Mayfield. It appears that the team is going to extend Mayfield and grant him that 5th-year option. It’ll bring him back for next season after surgery and hopefully a successful recovery. The only way to know if next year will be a success is to give Mayfield the opportunity to prove it.
Will Mayfield show that same success as that playoff quarterback we all saw in the past?
Will we see the Mayfield that has thrown those 54 inceptions because of poor decision-making?
The Browns have said Mayfield is the guy…
Andrew Berry: ‘We fully expect Baker to be our starter and bounce back.” #Browns
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) January 11, 2022
BUT… it is a long off-season filled with many ups and downs. Personally, I’m not going to believe that Baker is the guy until that first snap of the opening day. There are simply just so many questions and everything.
Now, what could be some of the issues in bringing back Mayfield?
Well, if the quarterback does return to the Browns and ends up being terrible, it sets the franchise back an entire year. The team wouldn’t have drafted a potential starter or signed a free agent quarterback as a replacement. That would all have to be done next off-season.
Of course, there is always a chance that Baker could return after surgery and have a great year as quarterback proving many fans wrong. Then, years from now, we can all look back at this offseason and be so thankful that the Browns didn’t listen to us as Mayfield leads the franchise to many playoff runs in the future. That remains to be seen.
For now, we wait and see. Watch the Cavs as a distraction!