While Nick Chubb and Wyatt Teller have their contracts expiring at the end of the season, Baker Mayfield’s extension is the most important for the Cleveland Browns.
Denzel Ward joins Mayfield, Chubb and Teller as the four big extensions need among the Browns long list of upcoming free agents.
Mayfield’s situation is cluttered by the other quarterbacks in his class also seeking extensions. Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen are in the same boat as the Browns quarterback after being drafted in the first round as well. Mayfield, as the top pick in the 2018 NFL draft, has had to deal with a ton of turnover and instability in Cleveland while Jackson and Allen have been well supported by their organizations since their rookie season.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that Mayfield’s deal could be the first done of the three big quarterbacks from their draft class:
Some of Fowler’s comments could cause for raised eyebrows specifically related to how Mayfield is viewed. While the Browns offense took off last season, Jackson and Allen have a larger resume of good to great play in the NFL. If Cleveland is trying to pay Mayfield based on his past, a deal may be tough getting done especially if either Jackson or Allen get their extensions first.
While Mayfield doesn’t have an MVP, like Jackson, or multiple runs to the playoffs, like both Jackson and Allen, it would be egregious to place that blame solely on the quarterback. Instead, Cleveland’s front office, led by Andrew Berry, must recognize the situation around Mayfield was part of the issue.
It sounds like the Browns want to get a deal done as soon as possible but can they find a common ground with Mayfield and his agent before either Jackson and Allen ink their deals and, possibly, reset the market?