This Is The Defining Season For Browns QB Baker Mayfield

Browns, Baker Mayfield, Steelers
Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns will have a decision to make in 2020. By the end of December, or possibly sooner, they may be forced to make a trade or take a stand when it comes to their quarterback situation and Baker Mayfield.

Entering his third season in the league, it’s time for Mayfield to put his big boy pants on and show why he was drafted as the face of the franchise for the Browns in 2018.

In his first two seasons as the starter, Mayfield has passed for 7,552 yards, 49 touchdowns, and 35 interceptions while completing 61.5 percent of his passes. Not Pro Bowl numbers for a player with talent all around him.

His rookie season was one of adjustments and learning. However, it’s the second season where it all went wrong. Surrounded with top quality playmakers at the receiver position, Mayfield still managed to complete only 59.4 percent of his passes.

What’s staggering is that in a year where he should have shown progress, he regressed. How can a quarterback who has Jarvis Landry (83 receptions, 1174 yards and Odell Beckham (74 receptions, 1035 yards) not take full advantage of what he has in the passing attack?

To makes matters worst, Mayfield was blessed with talent in the backfield in Nick Chubb (1494 yards rushing). So why the decline? Maybe the pressure was to much for him. And if so, how will he be able to handle his third season when the motto is that young QBs put it all together that year?

With Baker Mayfield signed for another two years, he must prove that he can produce or this could easily be his swan song year in Cleveland. This offseason was a true test to see how the Browns felt about Mayfield. With high-profile players such as Cam Newton, Tom Brady and Philip Rivers available, the Browns elected to stick with their guy.

In their defense, you must give him that third year. If Mayfield struggles than all bets are off. But another route the Browns could take is to light a fire under Mayfield. Bring in a solid backup to push him. There can be no more Brian Hoyer’s or Case Keenum’s, there needs to be someone who actually has a shot to take his spot.

His critics will point to the month of December in 2019 when the Browns should have made their move towards the playoffs. Baker Mayfield had his shot but threw eight interceptions in the last five games that sealed the team’s fate.

The main reason that Mayfield has to take a major step has been the success of Josh Allen in Buffalo and Lamar Jackson in Baltimore. Both QB’s were selected after Mayfield and both have made it to the playoffs with lesser talent supporting them.

The Cleveland Browns can not sit back and continue to settle for mediocracy. 2020 is shaping up to be the Year of the QB on so many levels. However, for the Browns and Mayfield, it’s the defining moment of their respective futures.

2 Comments

  1. I get the comparison to Lamar but that is a system and team designed for Jackson. Is it really sustainable? He is a talent but could get figured out if he doesn’t start throwing outside the numbers with any consistency.
    I do not get Josh Allen though. His Team and coaching staff has made it to the playoffs. Baker beats Allen in every QB statistic, other than INTs last year (that’s significant), including pass yards, comp. %, avg per attempt, passing TDs and QBR. To top it off Baker and company just beat them last year head to head.

  2. What a completely stupid article. You obviously blame Mayfield when it was Freddy Kitchens inept play calling and lack of any knowledge of how to use the immense talent that the Browns have. Kitchens effectively wasted Mayfields entire season along with everyone else.

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