Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has gone full circle.
Four years ago, he was one of the highly-touted prospects from college football, prompting the Browns to make him the first overall selection.
He did have some productive years with the squad, especially in 2020, when he helped the franchise break a postseason drought that lasted nearly two decades.
More importantly, they won a playoff game against the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers and gave the Kansas City Chiefs a run for their money.
But after four seasons, the writing was on the wall when the Browns signed Deshaun Watson to a five-year, $230 million fully-guaranteed contract.
They also brought in Jacoby Brissett to be his backup.
Even when the entire football world knew that Watson would be suspended for some games, the Browns turned to Brissett instead of the former Oklahoma standout.
He finally got a fresh start when the Browns dealt him to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a conditional fifth-rounder in the 2024 draft.
That pick could become a fourth-rounder if Mayfield plays 70 percent of the snaps this season.
He edged Sam Darnold, P.J. Walker, and Matt Corral for the chance to start in Week 1.
However, he is not just facing any team when they open the season.
Instead, he will have a chance to get some payback against his former team, and Mayfield couldn’t ask for a better narrative.
Baker Mayfield on facing the #Browns again: "It's a great storyline, it really is…"
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) August 31, 2022
ESPN’s Jake Trotter tweeted, “Baker Mayfield on facing the #Browns again: ‘It’s a great storyline, it really is…'”
Panthers-Browns Is An Easy Sell
Recent events already provided the perfect narrative for this matchup.
The former quarterback would like to get one against his former team because they might not meet again after a few seasons.
Likewise, the Browns would like to prove that they are better off without Mayfield, even if it is Brissett starting.
That context alone should make fans tune in to this opening weekend game on September 11.
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