Could the Baker Mayfield Era be Nearing an End in Cleveland?
“Baker Mayfield does not lose games for you. But he doesn’t win games for you.”
NOTE: Parts of this article first appeared at Cleveland.com on Monday, Nov. 15th
The football gods giveth and they taketh away.
Only one week after showing serious moxie in a win against the cross-state rival Cincinnati Bengals, TV commercial poster boy Baker Mayfield was badly outplayed by New England Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones in a 45-7 loss on Sunday. It was total humiliation.
The ugly loss gave ESPN analyst and former NFL head coach Rex Ryan (NY Jets) a reason to reiterate his criticism that Mayfield is not an elite quarterback.
“When I said Baker Mayfield was overrated as hell, I got ripped for it,” Ryan said on Monday’s “Get Up!” “I told the truth. It’s only based on 30 years of coaching experience. I know what an elite quarterback is and I know what one isn’t. Baker Mayfield is not an elite quarterback.”
Ryan called Sunday’s game against the Patriots a “disaster matchup” for Mayfield, who he said does not fare well against man-to-man coverage.
“Baker Mayfield does not lose games for you,” Ryan said. “But he doesn’t win games for you.”
Mayfield was down his two star-running backs in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Pro Bowl tackle Jack Conklin was also out.
“An elite quarterback can win when you don’t have other things,” Ryan proclaimed. “[The Browns] got out-rushed by 50 yards. That’s happened 14 times and Baker Mayfield is 0-14 in those games.
“He’s ain’t the guy,” Ryan continued.
“You know where he’s elite? He’s elite in those commercials. Just because you’re taken first overall doesn’t mean you’re elite. It means someone thinks you’re elite.”
The Browns must make a decision on Mayfield and the future this coming offseason, as he’s due $18 million in the fifth year of his contract. The Browns could offer Mayfield a new contract that could be worth more than $30 million per year.
It may be time to test the trade market and get something for Mayfield while he's still marketable. As for his TV commercials, any advertiser should pull the plug.