Fox Sports Radio host Colin Cowherd has long been a critic of Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns.
On Monday’s edition of “The Herd,” Cowherd explained why he believes head coach Kevin Stefanski and the Browns front office would be wise to move off Mayfield after the season.
“There’s an old saying in football that, ‘You can lose a game, (but) you can’t lose the locker room,” Cowherd said. “Kevin Stefanski, I think, is a very good play caller and a very bright guy, but I think he’s in danger of…losing the locker room as he keeps selling them on Baker.”
The Browns check every box…except at QB:
"You can't keep overcoming a deficiency at that position." — @ColinCowherd pic.twitter.com/8BwLqJPyFn
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) December 27, 2021
Mayfield, 26, is due to make about $18.86 million in the 2022 season, which is the final year of his rookie contract.
Mayfield — who is playing with several injuries including a torn labrum and a fracture in his left shoulder — is coming off a four-interception performance in the Browns’ 24-22 loss to the Packers on Christmas Day.
Packers defenders also dropped other opportunities to intercept Mayfield during the Week 16 game.
“If you reverse quarterbacks in this game, and gave (quarterback) Aaron (Rodgers) to Cleveland, they (would) win 42-7,” Cowherd said. “Cleveland had better players.”
Cowherd pointed out how the Browns have five players selected to the 2022 Pro Bowl, including defensive end Myles Garrett, cornerback Denzel Ward, running back Nick Chubb, guard Joel Bitonio and guard Wyatt Teller.
However, the Packers also have seven players named to the Pro Bowl roster: Rodgers, wide receiver Davante Adams, offensive tackle David Bakhtiari, guard Elton Jenkins, running back Aaron Jones and linebacker Za’Darius Smith.
The Browns also have four players selected as alternates: Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, fullback Andy Janovich, center JC treater and left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr.
Cowherd mentioned how starting safety John Johnson missed the Packers game with a hamstring injury.
“During the game, (Johnson was) literally tweeting, ‘run the ball,’” Cowherd said. “Like, there’s a reason when Odell (Beckham Jr.’s) dad called out Baker he didn’t get any pushback from the players. You cannot lose this locker room. This roster is stacked.”
RUN THE DAMN BALL🙄
— John Johnson III (@iamjohnthethird) December 25, 2021
Cowherd brought up a few other points about Mayfield’s struggles:
- Mayfield has played for four coaches: Hue Jackson, Gregg Williams, Freddie Kitchens and Stefanski.
- Mayfield has a career 62% completion percentage.
- Since coming into the NFL in 2018, Mayfield leads the NFL in interceptions with 54.
“I’ve always said I don’t like his judgement,” Cowherd said of Mayfield. “His brand is bigger than his game.”
On Saturday, Mayfield also completed 21 of his 36 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns, but Cowherd said it comes with a caveat.
Mayfield was 2-of-10 for 40 yards and four interceptions on throws at least 10 yards downfield, according to ESPN Stats and Info.
Baker Mayfield today was 2-10 for 40 yards & 4 interceptions on throws at least 10 yards downfield.
He's the first Browns QB to throw 4 interceptions in a game since Brandon Weeden in 2012. pic.twitter.com/mHYCGzuO37
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 26, 2021
“You gotta be careful about this,” Cowherd said. “You can start losing players fast because you can’t fool them. Everybody in that Cleveland knows he’s our least talented guy.”
Cowherd also mentioned how Mayfield will need to go up against other talented, young quarterbacks in the division and within the AFC.
“There was a stretch that was going to happen for Baker when he was facing contemporaries,” Cowherd said. “Well, what does Joe Burrow look like now in that division?
“Like, that’s what Andrew Berry is thinking, ‘I gotta face Joe Burrow. Well, I got to have somebody close to Joe Burrow.’ You can’t keep overcoming a deficiency at quarterback.”
For as much as Browns fans and the local media like to dismiss Colin Cowherd, I think there is a lot of truth to what he said. Something has been off about this team for practically the entire season. They seem like more of a collection of individuals than they do a team. I think the Odell Beckham situation caused a lot of Browns players to question Baker’s leadership. And I also think that Baker’s desire for a big money contract has caused him to try to explain away all of his poor play and blame others as much as he can. Honestly, the only way I think that the core of this roster can become functional again is to get rid of Baker and bring in another quarterback, who can hopefully provide some veteran leadership to this young team.
That`s right on. Baker cannot take you to the promised land. He simply just isn`t good enough.
I am not going to totally disagree but point 2 things out. 3 ex quarterbacks I heardsaid with that harness reduces your downfield throwing accuracy by about 30 percent. Also better players? I love my browns but our wide outs are not that good. No qb should be out there with that many. Injuries.
Darrell cotrell says
I don’t usually agree with cowers,but he’s right on this. No matter how well our defense plays,it’s all for nought with bakers inconsistently.their offense is predictable with bakers limitations.
Baker Manziel says
Everyone loves Mayfield in Cleveland. But he’s been disappointing as an NFL quarterback.
Pay Mayfield 3 million a year, dress him in white pants and an orange sweater, give him a megaphone, and he’ll be the best cheerleader in the NFL.
Pete Smith says
Mayfield has the most interceptions in the NFL since joining Cleveland.
Turnovers lose you games.
Concerned Browns Fan says
Baker lost the players a long time ago. How many times have we seen him throw the ball high, wrong location, or to the wrong team!! Whoever he would throw the ball to, would have a reaction like wtf!!
Why isn’t anyone calling Baker a bust!? Number one overall pick leads the league in INT’s since coming into the league??
He had a “decent” game manager type of 11 games last year, and that is what the pundits that support him constantly use to defend this man. People, that was LAST YEAR!! The Browns have played 15 GAMES THIS SEASON!!
When Teddy Bridgewater was hurt earlier this season, no one was making excuses for him – they said he needed to be replaced. Why the double standard folks?
He wasn’t a number one overall pick.
Mayfield isn’t a complete bust , but he’s nothing remarkable. He won’t take the Browns deep in the playoffs. The Browns will have to win in spite of Mayfield. He’s a hard working talented man, but he’s the last person you want out there down 4 with 2 minutes to go and that’s what kills it.
Frankie C. says
Since there are no Free Agent QBs on the market in 2022, a trade would be in the offing. QBs that may be out there for trade are Rogers, Wilson, Cousins, Ryan, Carr, Tagovailoa, Garopppolo, and Winston. Who would you like and what would the Browns have to give up?