Baker Mayfield Pretty Much Shuts the Door on a Cleveland Return (Even in the Event of a Lengthy Deshaun Watson Suspension)

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Baker Mayfield Pretty Much Shuts the Door on a Cleveland Return (Even in the Event of a Lengthy Deshaun Watson Suspension)

Chicago Bears

We’re entering the second day of hearings that will ultimately decide Deshaun Watson’s NFL fate. As we discussed in Bullets, the expectation is that a decision will come down by the end of the week. And at the end of it all, the Browns quarterback figures to serve a suspension that costs him a chunk of playing time should retired federal judge Sue L. Robinson find the QB violated the NFL’s conduct policy. Watson missing significant time would lead some to wonder if Cleveland could reconcile with Baker Mayfield. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

Because after pushing Baker aside to trade for Watson and give him $230 million in guarantees, salvaging this situation with Mayfield seems to be a long shot:

Some might latch on to Mayfield, saying, “For that to happen, there would have to be some reaching out” when asked about a potential reconciliation. Maybe this is enough for some to consider the door slightly open for a Mayfield return. But when he finishes that sentence by adding, “but we’re ready to move on, I think, from both sides,” it essentially closes the door on returning to Cleveland. Maybe that door isn’t locked and dead-bolted. But it is evident that the ship has sailed for Mayfield’s time in Cleveland. And that is probably for the best.

Mayfield will make $18.9 million as he plays on the fifth-year option of his rookie deal. And while suiting up for the Browns isn’t an option, a possible trade to the Panthers, Seahawks, or another QB-needy team remains. But I’m not sure anything can shake out until the Watson saga reaches its conclusion. It’s not like the Browns won’t have a QB in camp. Jacoby Brissett is Cleveland’s QB2, and he has ample starting experience. However, that does nothing to help the Browns figure out what they’ll do with Mayfield. That side plot probably won’t have a final act for some time.



Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.