The Browns have found their guy and it is Baker Mayfield. The team should bypass the 5th-year-option and just extend their quarterback now.
The Cleveland Browns have found their quarterback. There’s no denying it anymore. You can keep moving the goalposts to try and prove your argument but Baker Mayfield has lived up to the expectations placed upon him time and time again. Fans decried he needed to not turn the ball over. Mayfield responded by only throwing eight picks. Fans demanded that Mayfield win games. He won 11. Fans demanded that he play efficiently. Mayfield is 10th in QBR. They demanded that he beat “real teams”. He went out and destroyed every top-10 defense he played (Wash, Pit, Indy, Bal).
He’s the only quarterback since Brian Sipe to throw for three straight seasons of 30 touchdowns. He’s one of the few quarterbacks in Browns’ history to put up his stat line. He’s already sixth in the franchise history in yards, fifth in touchdowns, he’s only 9th in interceptions (43), and he’s got a differential of 24 before he catches up to No. 7 Tim Couch (Derek Anderson is only two ahead of him). Of quarterbacks with more than 1,500 career passing attempts in a Browns jersey, Mayfield is the most accurate (61.9%).
He’s able to lead a team through the air as well, carving up the Ravens, and doing the work against Washington, the Jaguars, the Bengals, the Titans, the Ravens, and the Steelers. All while only losing one of those games.
His numbers would’ve been even better this year if the strangest set of circumstances didn’t happen time and time again. Hurricane level winds in the winter, near white-out conditions, his entire receiver corp ruled out, his head coach not able to be there on the sideline, constant guys on the offensive line missing time for one reason or another, Nick Chubb getting hurt, having to deal with Odell Beckham Jr.
It’s ridiculous what this man has dealt with this year. It’s been one new adversity after another and yet Mayfield rallied.
The Browns would prove to be the biggest fools in the history of the game if they decided to move on from Mayfield now. The team has spent 22 years looking for a guy like Mayfield and now that they have him, they should focus on locking him down. The only debate is what Mayfield is worth as a quarterback and that’s something that we can expect to play out in the coming months and years.