It is either irony or poetic justice that the Browns’ Week 1 opponent is Mayfield’s new team, the Carolina Panthers in Carolina.
Mayfield will not have to deal with the Dawg Pound (though some may make the road trip for the game) and will presumably have the support of the Carolina faithful.
So it is not surprising that Mayfield is aware and hyped for Week 1.
When asked about this game, he made an honest admission.
What He Said
Baker Mayfield has Week 1 circled on his calendar
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 12, 2022
“I’m not going to sit here and be a robot and tell you that’s not one I’ve marked on the calendar already.”
Baker Mayfield to @daringantt on the Panthers’ Week 1 matchup vs. the Browns: "I'm not going to sit here and be a robot and tell you that's not one I've marked on the calendar already.”https://t.co/W2jY7brjay
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) July 12, 2022
This was a messy, prolonged breakup so of course, Mayfield would feel this way.
He went on to say that all games are important but there is a special significance with this one.
“To me, it’s about winning games. Whoever we have marked on the schedule, I’m going to try to win. Obviously, this one has a little more history and personal meaning, but for me, it’s about winning and setting the tone for the rest of the year, and however I can help this team do that, I’m going to do.”
Is There A Grudge?
In the same interview, Mayfield was asked if he is the kind of person who holds grudges.
“I try not to.”
An indication that the sagas of the 2021 Browns season are still on his mind came when it was time for him to select his jersey number.
Panthers punter Johnny Hekker has number 6, and some thought Mayfield might offer him cash to get his number.
Mayfield did not opt to go this route.
Instead, he chose 13 from the available quarterback numbers: 1 and 13.
#Panthers QB Baker Mayfield says he will wear number 13 this upcoming season in Carolina. "This number and I have some unfinished business. You'll never see a harder working 13."
— Kevin Grandheer (@NFLGrandheer) July 11, 2022
“This number and I have some unfinished business. You’ll never see a harder working 13.”