Mayfield: ‘No animosity’ toward Browns, awaits fresh start

Mayfield was humble and introspective in his first interview since the Browns dealt him to Carolina for a 2024 conditional fifth-round draft pick.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield reacts during warm-ups before an NFL football game...
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield reacts during warm-ups before an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)(David Richard | AP)
Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 3:53 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Baker Mayfield said he was “shocked” to learn that he was not in the Cleveland Browns’ future plans earlier this offseason.

But the 2018 No. 1 overall NFL draft pick has had a few months now to digest the Browns’ decision to replace him with Deshaun Watson and is eager to take advantage of a fresh start with his new team, the Carolina Panthers.

“Shocked, I would say, is pretty much the only way to describe it,” Mayfield said Tuesday. “But you roll with the punches and you’ve got to move forward. This is a test of adversity and how I’m going to handle it and how I can move forward and be the best teammate possible.”

Mayfield was humble and introspective in his first interview since the Browns dealt him to Carolina for a 2024 conditional fifth-round draft pick.

To help facilitate the deal, Mayfield agreed to take a $3.5 million pay cut. He’ll still make a combined $15.5 million from the Browns and Panthers.

Related: “We’re gonna support you”: Panthers fans react to trade for Baker Mayfield

Mayfield said he’s had to learn to roll with the punches and that the trade to Carolina will test how he handles adversity. Mayfield will compete with Sam Darnold for the starting quarterback spot when the Panthers get to training camp.

“I’ve learned to control what I can,” Mayfield said. “This has been an offseason that has taught me a lot of patience, a lot about focusing on the priorities and realizing who is in your corner and how to prioritize your life and just becoming the best version of myself. It’s not in any way how I drew it up, but I’m very thankful looking back on it.”

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