Baker Mayfield Trade 1 Year Ago: Looking Back

July 6, 2023

Andy Billman

One year ago today Mayfield was traded from the Browns to the Carolina Panthers

3 things to Remember About Baker Mayfield.

1 – 30 for 30

Baker’s overall record as a Browns Quarterback, 30 wins, 30 losses, sums up his time perfectly in Cleveland.  Some good and some bad. 

He had some magnificent victories that will long live in Browns fandom.  In particular:

  • The Jet’s victory ended the winless streak and the opening of the Bud Light coolers on Thursday night. 
  • The victory in Cincinnati in October of 2020 was the full circle of Baker Mayfield.  At one point, it looked like he was going to be benched in the 1st half, only to recover and lead the Browns to a comeback by completing a touchdown to Donovan Peoples-Jones with 11 seconds left.  Final score Browns over the Bengals 37-34.
  • And, of course, the fantastic playoff victory against the Steelers.  So so sweet and yes no matter what anybody says, the win counts even during a COVID postseason. 

And he had some memorable losses:

  • November 2019 game in Denver was just bizarre.  Baker came into the game with a beard, then shaved his beard to a handlebar mustache, and at the end of the game just a normal mustache.  Oh yeah, the Browns lost 24-19 bringing their disappointing record to 2-6.
  • There are multiple games in 2021 that can qualify, but here’s one of the two I have selected.  The game on Christmas Day losing to the Packers was gut-wrenching.  Mayfield had four interceptions and just could not move the ball down the field to get into field goal range to win it.  The Browns lost 24-22.
  • Monday Night Football on January 3rd, 2022 was the final straw.  Mayfield was awful 16 for 38 and was sacked nine times in a defeat to the dreaded Steelers.  After the game, you got the feeling as a fan that Mayfield could not be the quarterback moving forward.  He had lost the locker room and his play on the field was dreadful by the end of the season. 

2 – Mayfield brought an edge

No matter what side of the fence you were on, Baker Mayfield did bring a lot of energy to a long-dormant franchise   Coming into a franchise that long needed some sort of buzz after going 1-31, Mayfield did bring a buzz from day one and some hope that maybe the Browns could get out this long funk.

From the first episode of Hard Knocks and throughout his rookie season in 2018, it was exciting to watch and Sundays were finally enjoyable again.  It felt like the Browns were back and he gave our fanbase a reason to be excited.

3 – Mayfield brought an edge, that caused some drama

Edge and character will bring attention and if not handled properly, drama, and stress to an organization.  

For all of the positives Baker brought to the Browns when it comes to energy and some of his play on the field, he also always seemed to be battling doubters from the local press, national media, and even Cleveland fans. 

As a fan, it became exhausting trying to figure out why the drama was taking place and it became a distraction to the play on the field.  It felt like at times with the Browns, especially in 2019, it was more about who Baker was battling rather than the play on the field. 

Naturally, that bled into the locker room, and that caused issues with teammates.  In particular with Odell Beckham Jr. that unraveled in the middle of the season.  There were also multiple reports of a locker room divided in support of Baker throughout his tenure.  

Final Thoughts

With a record of 30 – 30, it is not fair to say he is bad, nor is it fair to say he was good.  Mayfield was average at the end of the day, with some very high and very low moments. 

One overall conclusion we can have about Mayfield, he had a very memorable four years in Cleveland and his win in Pittsburgh was a huge celebration and moment in time for all Browns fans. 

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