Baker Mayfield wisely chose to eschew social media at the end of last season.
And he has been mum on most Cleveland Browns developments since saying goodbye to fans in March.
With the team all but ignoring their former starter, too, some questions linger about Mayfield.
Important questions, at least if the quarterback hopes to play meaningful football in 2022.
With Baker Mayfield's future still in limbo with the Browns, the quarterback seems to be in good spirits per his wife Emily. https://t.co/lDzpFbzTGW
— 92.3 The Fan (@923TheFan) June 3, 2022
How is Mayfield’s shoulder rehab coming along, and what about his other injuries?
Is Mayfield resigned to sitting out the season, or does he want to help the Browns find a landing spot?
Potential suitors want to hear some confidence-inspiring words from Mayfield in lieu of sulking or silence.
So Emily Mayfield’s recent Q&A session on Instagram warrants some attention.
“Baker is Doing Great”
According to Mayfield’s wife, the quarterback is “great” and has been training a lot.
This is welcome news since we’ve heard little since he reportedly tossed a ball with receivers in April.
But there have been no postings from Mayfield similar to what Odell Beckham Jr. offered us last season.
Fans could get excited about Beckham running, cutting, and catching well before he returned to practice.
#Browns Alex Van Pelt on Baker Mayfield: "I think Baker is a very good quarterback" and said he thinks he has a good future.
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) June 1, 2022
And he had an assured roster spot when he was ready to play again.
Mayfield will receive $18.8 million from someone this year, but it is unclear if he will actually play.
Cleveland could keep him on their roster and make him inactive each week.
But they would prefer to get a draft pick or two in exchange for paying him to play elsewhere.
What Is Mayfield’s Strategy?
There is no indication Mayfield wants to do anything to help the Browns recoup their investment.
But he might overplay his hand if he thinks the Browns will release him or trade him for nothing.
We don’t know, of course, if his agent is secretly putting feelers out.
But as long as he is on the Browns’ roster, he can’t openly look for another team on his own.
Why I think Baker Mayfield should attend Browns mandatory minicamp, and why he should hold a press conference at camp. It's on the #TheDailyGrossi. Always unlocked at https://t.co/3gLFWvzbFK. https://t.co/fO3oCsp7oh
— Tony Grossi (@TonyGrossi) June 2, 2022
That is why social media posts of Mayfield throwing, running, and looking competitive would help.
Right now, Mayfield is a questionable commodity, and not because of his shoulder.
Questions about Mayfield’s mental makeup and potential locker room impact loom large.
And if teams think he’d rather hurt the Browns than step up for their team, those concerns won’t go away.
What Is The Browns Strategy?
As surprising as the Deshaun Watson deal was, Andrew Berry already knew he might eat Mayfield’s 2022 salary
Mayfield and the Browns took a chance on a big 2021 season before discussing a contract extension.
His assorted injuries make assessing his onfield performance difficult, except for decision-making.
But as questionable as that was, both Mayfield and Cleveland seemed content to roll the dice again in 2022.
#Browns are unlikely to release QB Baker Mayfield, per @MaryKayCabot pic.twitter.com/qTCneeoajn
— NFL Rumors (@nflrums) May 30, 2022
Mayfield stood to have the advantage if he came up with a playoff run this season.
And he could have taken the high road when he learned the Browns courted Watson to take his place.
But he chose to say goodbye to fans and quit on his teammates, demanding a trade before Watson signed.
That makes it difficult for Berry to do anything but wait for a better offer for Mayfield than those received to date.
Are The Browns Stuck?
Berry has plenty of cap space and though he would love to roll over more in 2023, he can afford to pay Mayfield.
Had Mayfield agreed to cover a Watson suspension, Cleveland might have won a 2023 compensatory draft pick.
But if he doesn’t play, there is no chance of that happening, creating urgency to recover a pick via trade.
Anything Berry can recover for his moody quarterback is a bonus at this stage.
"To be myself." @Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett shares with @JosinaAnderson what he needs to be most successful. pic.twitter.com/qza77Qg7kg
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) June 1, 2022
But another reflecting point approaches with the first mandatory offseason training session in June.
If the Browns tell Mayfield to participate or at least let the trainers check his shoulder, he has to report.
Otherwise, he starts accumulating small weekly fines which become game checks in September.
Cleveland can give Mayfield permission to stay away, but they can also make him put his wallet where his mouth is.
Charles W Gill says
If I were Mayfield I’d also keep quiet. Don’t say anything that would be sticking his foot in his mouth. My agent would then be putting feelers out to none NFL teams. I’d have my new team picked out and a contract ready for signing when the Browns make their move. I’d then keep that $18.8 million, investing it for my future.
Some time down the road I’d then be ready to sign with a prospective NFL team like Fred Biletnikoff, Andre Rison, Doug Flutie, Joe Theismann, and Warren Moon.