Sunday, August 7, 2022

Panthers QB Baker Mayfield shoots at Browns in viral video

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It only took a day in training camp for Baker Mayfield to deliver a subtle shade for the Cleveland Browns.

On his way to practice, Mayfield was greeted by fans shouting his name but spotted someone wearing a Browns jersey. Mayfield looked over and quickly said, “Get that jersey out of here.” per Schuyler Callihan of Sports Illustrated.

Later in the day, ESPN’s David Newton caught up with the fan in the orange and tan robe and got her story.

“Born in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. …43 years Browns fan. I’m glad Baker came here to Carolina instead of going to the Steelers. And I’ll be cheering for the Panthers’ opening day against the Browns.” she said while holding up a sign welcoming Mayfield to Carolina.

The Browns endured an ugly divorce with Mayfield this offseason after acquiring Deshaun Watson via a blockbuster trade to take over the quarterback. After much speculation, the Panthers finally made the move to Mayfield on July 6, with the former top pick swapping some salary into incentives to make it happen.

The Panthers pay just $4.85 million of Mayfield’s salary, while the Browns pay $10.5 million, per ESPN. Mayfield turned the remaining $3.5 million into incentives he can earn throughout the season.

“There was a little sacrifice on all three fronts, between Cleveland, Carolina and me,” Mayfield said in his opening press conference. “For me, first and foremost, it is ready for a fresh start. I’m very grateful for the four years I spent in Cleveland – it’s a great football city. It’s the beginning of my career, however long it will last, God willing. I am grateful for that.”

Mayfield’s tenure in Cleveland was tumultuous, but there was no doubt that he helped turn the franchise around. He led the Browns to their first playoff win in more than two decades in the 2020-21 season, rushing for 3,563 yards, 26 touchdowns and just eight interceptions during the season.

However, Mayfield took a step back last year, in part due to injuries and internal turmoil. He threw 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions as the Browns stumbled to an 8-9 finish.

Mayfield was asked if he held a grudge against the Browns and provided an answer that may not be true, especially given his recent statement.

“I’m not trying,” Mayfield said with a smile.

If Mayfield beats Sam Darnold for the starting gig with the Panthers, he will see his old team in Week 1. The Browns don’t push themselves, however.

“I wish him the best, I think he’s in a really good place,” Browns head coach Kevin StefAnski told reporters from the training camp on July 27th. “We’ll see – I’m not going to speak for Coach Rhule about who’s playing. We will have time to talk about these things.”

With the Browns still handling their own QB situation with a possible suspension for Watson, Mayfield has to deal with a couple of old friends in pass rushers Jadeveon Clowney and Myles Garrett.

Garrett set a franchise record for a single season with 16 sacks last season and was asked if he was considering the idea of ​​sacking his former quarterback.

“Not really,” Garrett said. “Some of my friends have been, but that’s good for them. They can make their jokes, they can have fun with it. But I do have a lot of time with Jacoby (Brissett) and all these other quarterbacks that I’ve seen before, (Josh) Dobbs. Just being able to work against them, working against Jed (Wills Jr.) and just trying to improve my technique and my fundamentals and bring those points home with some of the younger guys, that’s all, what do I really focus on.”

It’s quite a storyline, but it all comes down to Mayfield winning the starting job. If he doesn’t, he’s just holding a clipboard on the sidelines when the Browns come to town.

“Not really,” Garrett said. “Some of my friends have been, but that’s good for them. They can make their jokes, they can have fun with it. But I do have a lot of time with Jacoby (Brissett) and all these other quarterbacks that I’ve seen before, (Josh) Dobbs. Just being able to work against them, working against Jed (Wills Jr.) and just trying to improve my technique and my fundamentals and bring those points home with some of the younger guys, that’s all, what do I really focus on.”



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