Mayfield’s season ends on the sidelines, an operation awaits the Browns QB
CLEVELAND (AP) – At least Baker Mayfield’s exit reunion went well. Just about everything else this season for the Browns quarterback was irrelevant.
And while the season is over, his time in Cleveland is not so defined.
Mayfield watched Sunday’s home final wearing a low cap on the sidelines as Cleveland closed a disappointing season with a 21-16 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals – a victory that brought little comfort to a Browns who was supposed to do a lot more.
It was a disappointing end for Mayfield, whose attempt to play despite injuries all season led to inconsistencies in his performance. Mayfield, who is due to have surgery on Jan. 19 on his un-slender left shoulder, met with coach Kevin Stefanski on Friday to discuss a season that hasn’t gone as it should and how to improve in the ‘to come up.
It remains to be seen if it is together. There were obvious frustrations and the loss sparked speculation about a rift between the coach and the 26-year-old quarterback, although Stefanski said on Friday he had a “good relationship” with Mayfield.
Stefanski didn’t give any details of their conversation, but Mayfield left it on a positive note.
“He can’t wait and I can’t wait for him to have the surgery, to get rest, to be healthy and all those things,” Stefanski said.
Barring a major change, it looks like the Browns will be heading into the offseason with Mayfield as a starter for next season.
Mayfield is under an $ 18.9 million contract for next season after the Browns (8-9) exercised the option. The team haven’t spoken to their agents about a long-term extension, and the Browns’ reluctance to lock up Mayfield has led to speculation they might seek out his replacement.
Stefanksi was asked if he had discussed a plan with Mayfield to become the Cleveland starter.
“Obviously, this type of meeting is between me and the players,” Stefanski said. “I think a lot of those exit meetings are where they are, where their health is, where they’re going, what we can do better and stuff like that.”
If they can’t find a better option through a trade or a free agent signing, the Browns will have to stick with Mayfield, who has thrown seven interceptions in his last three games. He’ll have to be better on and off the pitch.
Mayfield, who injured his shoulder in Week 2 while trying to make a tackle after throwing an interception, failed to improve his teammates. He struggled with his accuracy and failed to deliver into the clutch.
Mayfield also didn’t help his case when he skipped a post-game interview session after a win over Detroit, and made headlines last week by angrily responding on social media to a report on his relationship with Stefanski by calling the Cleveland media.
On Sunday, Mayfield watched veteran substitute Case Keenum throw two touchdown passes and lead the Browns to a Bengals sweep (10-7) and third-place AFC North.
This is not how he envisioned the end of his season. That’s not what the Browns had in mind, either.
When the last seconds passed, Mayfield walked slowly through the tunnel into a rapidly emptying FirstEnergy stadium. There were some cheers as he left the pitch.
Just a year ago, after helping Cleveland end their long playoff drought and leading the Browns to a playoff victory in Pittsburgh, Mayfield looked destined to become the much-sought franchise quarterback. . He’s just a broken one.