BEREA, Ohio — Baker Mayfield reiterated Wednesday what he has believed for years — he's "a great match" for Cleveland.
Although the starting quarterback stressed he's in "no rush" to sign a contract extension with the Browns, he acknowledged how much he would like to do so.
Mayfield's comments came a day after two other members of the 2018 NFL draft class — Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb and cornerback Denzel Ward — publicly expressed their desires to play for the Browns long term.
"Those guys are tremendous teammates. All coming in here together around the same time, that would be very special [if we were to sign contract extensions]," Mayfield said via Zoom before the second practice of mandatory minicamp. "But that's one of those things that I think everything happens for a reason. It'll handle itself. So I'm just worried about winning."
Chubb said he believed his agent has engaged in contract talks with the Browns. Ward said his agent has indeed started those types of discussions with the organization.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield's offseason included running, lifting, getting a guaranteed $18 million and a celestial close encounter he will not forget. On his way home from dinner in Texas last month with his wife, Emily, Mayfield said he saw a UFO. (Photo: AP Photo/Justin Berl, File)
Mayfield's camp has yet to have meaningful conversations along those lines with the Browns, a person familiar with the situation told the USA TODAY Network, but the sense is they could happen in or around training camp, which will begin in late July, or early in the coming season. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss contract talks.
Unresolved contractual situations can become a distraction, but Browns Pro Bowl left guard Joel Bitonio is convinced Mayfield will handle everything the best way possible.
"He has the right mindset," Bitonio said. "He looks like he's in great shape. He's throwing the ball well. He has a grasp of the offense. All of those things are just positives, so I think he has the right mindset. He hasn't even mentioned a contract extension to anybody in the building I don't think player-wise. So I think he's focused on what he needs to worry about it."
Bitonio also believes Mayfield proved last season he is the long-term answer for the Browns at the game's most important position.
“Yeah, I think so," Bitonio said. "Since he’s been here, I’ve always thought very highly of him. He’s always been a great teammate to me and what he’s shown on the football field, the positives far outweigh the negatives, and I think he’ll just continue to take those steps and continue to improve. It’s a big year for us and a big year for him, but I know he’s looking forward to it, and that’s kind of what he lives for, those big moments, so we’re getting ready to roll.”
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