Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield has issued a pretty big statement about what he intends to do to his former team when they meet in Week 1.
A lot of teams in the NFL are set to enter something of a ‘new era’ this season, with plenty of them going through a variety of changes. It could be at head coach like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the Denver Broncos to name just two, or they could be changing quarterbacks like the Pittsburgh Steelers or the Seattle Seahawks to again name just two.
Two more teams though that are being put into the latter category are the Cleveland Browns and the Carolina Panthers, with the former trading for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (despite the allegations against him that have since seen him suspended for 11 games) which subsequently meant that Baker Mayfield was up for grabs, and he was later traded to the Panthers.
Clearly the Browns thought that they had reached the end of the road and the limit to what Mayfield could achieve with the organisation, even though what he had achieved while with them was certainly nothing to be sniffed at.
Bringing them back to relevance
Before Mayfield was a Brown, they were pretty much the laughing stock of the league, having gone 1-31 in the two seasons before he arrived as the #1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and whilst things were rocky for him to start, he eventually played a big part in helping them grow as a team.
It took a couple of years, but the Browns eventually became a legitimate team in the NFL, winning 11 games in 2020 and winning the franchises’ first playoff game since 1994. In total Mayfield put up 14,125 passing yards and 92 touchdowns in the regular season in Ohio, but that obviously wasn’t enough for them as they decided to move on.
And Mayfield clearly hasn’t forgotten about how he was treated, because it seems as if he’s going to be carrying quite a large chip on his shoulder into Week 1 of the season, a week that sees the Browns travel to Charlotte to take on the Panthers.
What has he said?
Buffalo Bills sideline reporter Cynthia Frelund spoke to Mayfield during their recent preseason game against the Panthers and talked about their conversation on the Around the NFL podcast (quoted by Cleveland.com). In that exchange, Mayfield was reported to have said about the Browns that he’s going ‘to **** them up’.
Mayfield is always someone known to have a bit of an edge to his game, with arguably the best example coming from his days in college at Oklahoma:
So it’s no real surprise to see that he’s acting this way ahead of the reunion with his former team. It will be interesting to see if he can keep his emotions under control when the time comes, or if it will impact his play and maybe even cost the Panthers the game.