Baker Mayfield Is Foolishly Setting Himself up to Overpromise and Underdeliver for the Cleveland Browns: &039I&039ll Plant the Flag When We Go 17-0 Next Year&039

    cleveland browns quarterback baker mayfield has never been one to lack confidence. That’s what helped him win the Heisman Trophy in Oklahoma, and it’s what made him such an intriguing pick at No. 1 overall for the browns in the 2018 nfl draft.

    trust is reasonable, but you have to back it up in the nfl too. talk just isn’t enough among the best soccer players in the world. you also have to walk it.

    Reading: Baker mayfield 17-0

    that’s what mayfield’s latest cleveland comments have to do. Will he be able to cash the check that his mouth just wrote?

    the cleveland browns are giving baker mayfield one last chance

    Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns

    Quarterback Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns watches from the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the New York Giants at FirstEnergy Stadium | Jason Miller/Getty Images)

    There are undoubtedly things to like about Mayfield as a starting quarterback.

    He’s as tough as nails and willing to play through pain. He showed it in a big way last season, and that kind of leadership from a quarterback doesn’t go unnoticed in a locker room.

    He also has a knack for making plays on the soccer field. you don’t win a heisman and say no. 1 overall in the nfl draft because you have no talent. mayfield can play the game at a high level.

    the most important question is its consistency.

    Mayfield has thrown for 14,125 yards and 92 touchdowns in four seasons with the Browns, but he’s also thrown 56 interceptions and has a career QBR of 51.6, which is decidedly average.

    You’d live with those numbers if we were talking about a mid-round pick or a career backup turned starter, especially for leadership. but are these the kind of numbers you’d expect from a no. 1 overall pick? Are these the kind of numbers a quarterback hoping to turn around a long-suffering franchise would put up?

    The answer to that question is a resounding no, but that won’t stop the Browns from letting Mayfield finish out the final year of his contract. that has prevented them from giving mayifled an extension, which is quite revealing.

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    “We’ve been with Baker for a long time: we know his work ethic, we know his drive, we’ve seen him [be] a talented passer in this league, and we expect him to get healthy and continue to improve,” said the general manager of cleveland, andrew berry, on mayfield, according to espn.

    mayfield is preparing to underperform in 2022

    Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns

    Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns warms up before the game against the Minnesota Vikings | Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

    The Browns are clearly comfortable giving Mayfield one last shot. After all, they did invest the first overall pick in him not that long ago. It makes sense to let him play out a “prove it” season and then either re-sign him or move on and start over after 2022.

    The problem is that Mayfield, who never lacks confidence, is apparently already setting himself up for failure. It’s one thing to believe in yourself and your abilities and do everything you can to live up to what were some extremely high expectations at Cleveland. It’s another thing to just talk the talk and, in the process, come across as downright arrogant, if not downright unreasonable.

    Speaking of returning for his “last chance” season, Mayfield told the media he’s “never been more motivated,” specifically talking about proving his doubters wrong. he then he dropped this line, which will surely come back to haunt him.

    “I’ll plant the flag when we’re 17-0 next year,” Mayfield said.

    can a decidedly average quarterback lead the browns to glory?

    Baker Mayfield looks downfield

    Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns plays against the Houston Texans at FirstEnergy Stadium | Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    There’s some hyperbole in Mayfield’s comments on 2022; there has to be, at least. With that said, the meaning behind the statement is clear. Mayfield is expecting to make a full comeback in 2022 and lead the Browns to glory.

    A 17-0 season probably isn’t reasonable, but it looks like he’s setting himself up for a pink slip if the Browns’ ultimate destination in 2022 is anything less than the playoffs.

    in fairness to mayfield, that might be the case anyway, so why not go out dancing?

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    short of being in the mvp race or doing a super bowl, there probably isn’t much mayfield can do to change the perception of him. he has a bombastic personality who can get the job done in perfect situations, but he’s also prone to both injuries and big mistakes, and that doesn’t bode well for his long-term future as a franchise quarterback. /p>

    the best way to utilize mayfield is to isolate him with a solid running game and elite defense. That’s what Cleveland has tried to build around him for the past few seasons and, on paper, it could be a solid plan heading into next season.

    That said, in the long run, is that the kind of quarterback you give a lot of money to?

    If mayfield plays remotely well in 2022, he’ll want a big-money contract extension. however, cleveland could do a lot with the money it wanted, while still finding a competent quarterback who can deliver the ball, execute play-action passes, and rely on a solid defense in 2023 and beyond.

    If that’s all Mayfield is, and sprinkled with a little overconfidence, Cleveland can do better for its long-term future.

    when mayfield planted the oklahoma flag in the ohio state logo after a big win in 2017, it felt like the start of something huge for the quarterback who won the heisman and left. 1 overall to cleveland.

    today, talk of planting flags seems like a desperate call back to when things were much better for mayfield. he was on the ascent that september night in columbus. He appears to be going in the opposite direction heading into his last-chance season at Cleveland.

    overpromise and underdeliver. If things go wrong again for the Browns, that will end up being the story of Mayfield’s final season in Cleveland.

    Statistics courtesy of ESPN and Pro Football Reference.

    related: the browns are playing a risky and dangerous game with baker mayfield in 2022

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