Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield has been discussing Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson following his suspension.
Baker Mayfield found himself in a bit of an odd situation for the past few months whilst with the Cleveland Browns, as the organisation had made it pretty clear that he was no longer welcome there, despite playing a big part in turning them from a team that went 1-31 in the two years before his arrival to being playoff contenders and even winning a playoff game in 2020.
The Browns made a move for Deshaun Watson in a blockbuster trade with the Houston Texans, giving him a 5-year, $230m guaranteed contract in the process, but signed him before they had a chance to trade away Mayfield. All this was under the cloud of Watson being under threat of suspension after allegations of sexual misconduct against his name.
Given the timeline, there was a chance that Mayfield may have been sat on the sidelines with Watson during his suspension after the Browns made it clear with their actions he wasn’t going to play for them again, but they were in the end able to find a trade partner in the Carolina Panthers where he will compete for the starting job with Sam Darnold.
The suspension comes in
Yesterday it was revealed that Watson will, for the time being, be suspended for 6 games in this upcoming season, after Judge Sue L. Robinson handed down her verdict after hearing both Watson and the NFL appeal their case.
We have to stress the ‘for the time being’ part, as the NFL do have the right to appeal and judging by their tone in response to the suspension, it seems like it could be on the way, especially considering that they were reportedly pushing for an indefinite suspension during the hearing.
As it stands though, Watson won’t have to face Mayfield when the two sides meet in the opening weekend of the season.
Something that Mayfield seems to be very content with.
What’s Baker said?
Speaking to reporters during Panthers training camp (via USA Today), Mayfield was asked about the Watson situation, but he brushed it off quickly, insisting that it doesn’t concern him, partly because of the role both men play on the field:
“That, honestly, is none of my business. I don’t play against the other quarterback. It’s the most cliché thing to say, but that’s just the truth. When it comes down to it, I’m game-planning against their defense. And if I’m playing or not, I’m trying to help this team win. And that’s my mindset going into it. So I gotta keep getting better. But I’m not focused about Week 1 right now.”
At least that is one media storm that hopefully won’t be going on when the two teams meet in Week 1, because it was already as big as it could be with Mayfield going up against his former team.