1. Extend Baker
The expectation entering the season was that Baker Mayfield would find his groove playing in Kevin Stefanski’s play-action heavy, zone blocking system. Things started off slow, with pundits and fans labeling Mayfield as a game manager.
However, throughout the season, Mayfield proved to much more than that. He and Stefanski clearly built trust–especially after the bye–and the process paid dividends.
The biggest disappointment in the Chiefs game was that Mayfield didn’t get the ball back with a minute to play. That’s what we all wanted to see, because that’s when franchise quarterbacks really earn their checks. Could he have done it? We’ve have to wait and see.
While we’re still waiting for that, Mayfield did more than enough to get the extension. Add it all up, and Mayfield posted a 12-6 mark with 30 touchdowns against 9 interceptions. He completed 62.9 percent of his passes and led the Browns to their first playoff win since the 1994 season.
The Browns are eligible to extend Mayfield in March, when the new league year commences. He’s under contract for 2021 and the Browns cary an option for 2023.
The expectation was that the front office would pick up the option in order to buy time on a decision regarding Mayfield’s future.
We’ve seen the carousel that have come through town since 1999. There’s no need to keep looking. Plus, the organization is stronger–and that counts for a lot. Baker doesn’t have to be the franchise savior because based off what we saw this year, his front office and coaching staff will put him in the best position to win.
Lock him down now, instead of next offseason, and the Browns will probably save some cash in the long run, much how the extension Myles Garrett signed already looks like a bargain.