Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield released a statement Tuesday night on Twitter regarding his uncertainty with the franchise amid reports that Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson was meeting with the Browns on to discuss a potential trade.
Mayfield thanked the city of Cleveland and wrote, “I have no clue what happens next, which is the meaning behind the silence I have had during the duration of this process.”
The full statement read:
“The past 4 years have been nothing short of truly life changing since I heard my name called in the draft to go to Cleveland. This is not a message with hidden meaning. This is strictly to thank the city of Cleveland for embracing my family and me. We have made many memories and shared growing in this process through all the ups and downs. I have no clue what happens next, which is the meaning behind the silence I have had during the duration of this process. I can only control what I can, which is trusting in God’s plan throughout this process.
“I have given the franchise everything I have. That is something I’ve always done at every stage, and at every level. And that will not change wherever I take my next snap. Whatever happens.. I just want to say thank you to the fans who truly embraced who I am and the mentality that aligned so well with this city’s hard working people.
“Cleveland will always be a part of Emily and my story. And we will always be thankful for the impact it has had and will have in our lives.
“Baker Reagan Mayfield.”
Mayfield is coming off a turbulent season in which his struggles on the field were coupled with a shoulder injury.
The former No. 1 overall pick underwent shoulder surgery after missing the final game of the Browns’ 8-9 season and despite all the tribulations of the 2021 campaign was reported to be in the Browns’ plans for 2022.
Plans would seem to be changing.
Watson, who requested a trade from the Texans in January of 2021, was expected to meet with the Browns on Tuesday, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.
On Friday, a Harris County (Texas) grand jury did not find enough evidence to charge Watson with a crime following allegations of sexual misconduct stemming from massage therapy sessions. Watson also faces 22 civil lawsuits, but Friday’s news opened the door to trade talks for the former Pro Bowler, who remains under NFL investigation and is subject to potential discipline under the league’s personal-conduct policy.
Mayfield burst upon the season after being drafted in 2018 and threw a then-NFL rookie record 27 touchdown passes for the Browns. That still stands as his career high after four seasons, though. In 2019, the Browns wobbled under grand expectations. In 2020, Mayfield and the Browns produced a winning season and a playoff berth, but in 2021, lofty aspirations weighed them down once more.
Mayfield’s 2021 campaign saw him complete just 60% of his passes, throwing for 3,010 yards, 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Nothing is final as of yet and, as aforementioned, plans change, but Mayfield’s words read as the foreshadowing of a conclusion in Cleveland.
Time will tell if the Mayfield era has ended with the Browns or will sustain another bump in the road.
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