On Monday morning, NFL analyst Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk was very critical of the Cleveland Browns‘ handling of the Baker Mayfield situation.
In the podcast entitled “The Browns is the Browns,” he and former quarterback Chris Simms agreed that the Browns should release Mayfield as he enters his fifth NFL season:
Florio and Simms think that Mayfield should not be with the Cleveland organization.
That move should come as soon as possible.
Recently, Mayfield had reportedly thought the Browns were sabotaging him.
As a part of Florio’s argument, he alluded to the ESPN article about the possible sabotage in his article:
“Last week’s ESPN.com article regarding the current mood between Baker and the Browns shows that the bridge has been obliterated. There’s no rebuilding it, even if Watson were suspended for a year and the Browns tried to persuade Baker to stick around for one more season.”
This is an ugly situation and it could get worse.
Unfortunately, there appears to be no end in sight.
He believes that if the sabotage rumor is true, then Mayfield is going to exit Cleveland as soon as possible:
“If, as ESPN.com reported, Mayfield and/or those in his camp believe the Browns deliberately tried to make him look bad in a prime-time game at Pittsburgh, Mayfield is done with the Browns.”
Florio continues by discussing the problems regarding the Browns and their quarterback situation:
Going “All In” On Deshaun Watson
At this point, Florio thinks the situation is toxic and that the nightmare can finally end if the Browns cut Mayfield.
He sees the Deshaun Watson investment as a main reason for the Browns to rid themselves of their 2018 first overall draft pick:
“It’s a classic sunk cost. They made a $230 million investment in getting Watson. What’s another $18.8 million (minus whatever he would earn with a new team) if they simply cut the cord on Mayfield?” he said.
Florio sees the $230 million contract as a sunk cost:
Every dollar of Deshaun Watson’s new five-year, $230 million deal is guaranteed, per sources, setting a new record for the highest guarantee given to an NFL player. @Browns and Watson’s agent @DavidMulugheta combine to make history.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 18, 2022
The PFT analyst thinks that the release of Mayfield is necessary at this point.
He also discussed former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster’s quote that mocked the Browns.
“The Browns Is The Browns”
Florio harkened back to the time when Smith-Schuster made fun of the Browns.
In the Browns’ most recent postseason run, they had the last laugh with the playoff win over Smith-Schuster and Pittsburgh:
JuJu was the #Browns biggest motivator for their upset win.
“The Browns is the Browns!” pic.twitter.com/aqVJv5hz9y
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 11, 2021
However, Florio is now using the Chiefs receiver’s words to describe the current situation in Cleveland:
“JuJu was right. The Browns is the Browns. Even as the team becomes more competitive, dysfunction lingers in the organization. Their handling of Mayfield proves it. Intent on treating him like property and not like a human being whose career hinges on getting himself in position to find a new home sooner than later, the Browns are sending a very bad message to current and future members of the team.”
Florio thinks that the “message” is “very bad,” but is there a problem with the Browns holding onto Mayfield at this time?
He is, after all, still under contract.
However, Florio continues:
“The right thing to do in this specific case is to cut Mayfield and move on. It’s in his best interests, and it’s in the team’s best interests — even if the Chief Strategy Officer fails to see it.”
It is, of course, in Mayfield’s best interest that is not on the Browns
Is it the best move for the organization?
At the time, the front office does not think so.
Mayfield’s situation is in limbo as of right now, but we are still four months away from the beginning of the season.
The Browns have Watson installed at quarterback, and as of right now, he is the Week 1 starter.
Mayfield is seemingly the backup.
While Florio is urging the Browns to release him, they have yet to do so.
It appears Cleveland is still attempting to trade him to get some value, but we will have to wait to see the final result of this situation.
The conclusion of this saga may not happen any time soon, but analysts like Florio will continue to keep it in the news.
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