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The Relentless Infighting Amongst Browns Fans Over Baker Mayfield

Photo via ESPN

Mayfield history reminder

Baker Mayfield was selected first overall by the Browns in the 2018 draft. He got his chance to take the field in Week 3 replacing injured Tyrod Taylor. Cleveland was down 14-3 when Mayfield entered. He went 17 of 23, passing for 201 yards. The rookie quarterback led the team back prevailing over the Jets 21-17. This victory ended the Browns 19-game winless streak.

Mayfield became the first player since Fran Tarkenton in 1961, to come off the bench in his debut and throw for more than 200 yards while leading his team to the first win of the season.

The rookie helped the team to a 7-8-1 record in his first year with the Browns. It was their best record since 2007. That’s 11 years of disappointment he was able to assist in relieving. Mayfield finished the season with 3725 passing yards surpassing Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson for the most TDs thrown in a rookie season (27).

Playoffs and more

Baker’s most successful season was in 2020. He led Cleveland to their first playoff appearance since 2002 and first victory since 1994. It was also the team’s first playoff road win since 1969. In 2020, the Browns finished the regular season 11-5. This was Cleveland’s first winning record since 2007.

In the Wildcard game that year against the Steelers, Mayfield played well. He went 21 for 34 with 263 passing yards and three TDs in the team’s 48-37 win over the division rivals.

Photo via NFL

Things spiral

In 2021, Mayfield played through a shoulder injury that he suffered in Week 2. He would go on to reaggravate the injury in Week 6 thus causing him to miss his first game since becoming a starter. After the Browns were eliminated from the postseason, Mayfield would undergo surgery to repair this torn labrum. He threw for 3010 yards, 17 TDs and 13 interceptions in the 14 games he played.

Some fans saw him playing through injury as grit and determination. While other’s felt it was negatively impacting the team. Regardless if Baker felt he could play through the injury, the organization is responsible for sending him on the field.

It causes speculation on what the motives of the front office were. Did they want to see Baker fail? No one knows for sure however one thing is certain his play was poor. It would have been benefited all parties to have Mayfield heal and give the Browns the best chance to win.

The Drama

When Odell Beckham Jr was cut from the team in 2021 rumors swirled around Mayfield. The popular receiver’s father put out a video to display what he believed was lack of effort for Baker to throw to Beckham Jr. His son never played a full season in his first three seasons with the Browns.

The former Pro Bowler saw his numbers significantly drop from when played with the Giants. Speculation began to grow that there was blame on Mayfield for Beckham Jr’s performance with the Browns. The receiver felt Baker was ignoring him while he was wide open on plays.

Media, rumors, and name calling

Reports from “sources” began to flow. The once beloved QB was said to be “viewed as childish and immature.” It was also reported that the organization wanted “an adult in the room.” Mayfield’s fiery attitude that had made him a fan favorite was viewed differently as the team was no longer winning.

Watson to Cleveland

In the offseason the Browns courted Deshaun Watson which in turn led to the largest guaranteed contract in NFL history. Mayfield requested a trade from the team after they signed Watson. Many felt Baker was wronged by the Browns organization. Cleveland had exercised Mayfield’s fifth-year contract yet acquired Watson.

Baker to Carolina

Mayfield landed with Carolina this season and the first game was against the Browns. It could not have been set up more perfectly for Baker fans and Baker haters. The Browns were victorious in the season opener – due to a Cade York 58-yard field goal with eight seconds left. Nonetheless, they beat the former Browns QB, and one would think that would be the end of it. No way.

Fans and media alike, would pick apart each of Baker’s games throughout the season. Those who dislike the QB were ecstatic in Week 12 when Sam Darnold got the nod as starter over Mayfield. Then Carolina released Baker after a combination of poor play and the firing of head coach Matt Rhule. The Panthers were doing a wholesale reboot of the team. However, they parted ways with Baker in a fashion that was best for him. The Panther’s organization agreed to release him in the most optimal way for him to finish the season.

Mayfield stuns everyone

The Los Angeles Rams picked up Mayfield. He joined the team Tuesday and hit primetime for Thursday Night Football. Without even knowing where the locker room was much less the play book, Mayfield did the unthinkable. He threw for 230 yards with a 91.4 passer rating. In the last minute of the game, he led a 98-yard drive throwing to receivers he’d never played with. Stunning the Raiders in a 17-16 comeback victory he shined on the national stage.

It’s irresponsible to think Mayfield will perform like that in every game or possibly ever again. However, to state that he is a washed up quarterback headed for the XFL is just not accurate. The man has played under seven different head coaches. He will be fine. That isn’t even the issue…the issue is why are Browns fans so obsessed with what Mayfield is doing? Those who were happy to see him pull off the improbable feat against the Raiders, are fans of Baker, the player. Also, fans of the game, as that comeback was historical.

Other athletes took to Twitter to show their support for his amazing drive on Twitter.


“Baker Bros” and “Watson Warriors” continue to collide

For as bad as Baker Bros are made to seem, Watson Warriors are just as bad. They want to magnify everything Mayfield did wrong yet excusing the poor play Watson had in his first game back. “He’s rusty” and “he hasn’t played in 700 days” are phrases thrown around yet prior to his return the same fans said he’d be “consistently dropping 40.”

It’s rather sad that so much disdain exists within the Browns fan base toward Baker. How do fans so quickly forget what #6 did for their franchise? A friend of mine called it revisionist history and I tend to agree. Mayfield was near Rookie of the Year in his first season. He led his team to it’s first playoff berth in 18 years. He was far from perfect, but he turned around the Browns losing years. They seem to forget when they once “rode with six.”

It’s almost that in order to be able to accept Watson some fans need to make themselves believe Mayfield was never good at all. This way of thinking is not new to Browns fans, and I believe if Watson doesn’t play extremely well the next few games many will start to turn on him. Almost guaranteed if he doesn’t lead them to a Super Bowl win next season the hate will flow. Many fans are that fickle and are quick to turn on players.

The Mayfield hate is puzzling. I could understand if he left the Browns in a way like Lebron left Cleveland with “The Decision.” That was a slap in the face to fans and the city. Yet Baker didn’t leave that way.

It’s time for both sides of the Baker Bro battle to move on. Fans who genuinely wish him well should continue to do so. Those who do not like him need to focus on their new quarterback. There’s plenty to pick apart there but that’s another story.

I attended Malone College to pursue a Journalism career in Politics...I have found that writing about Sports is a lot more fun! I am an avid NBA, MLB & NFL fan. Find me on Twitter @nats_sportschat



  1. noble harper

    December 10, 2022 at 10:56 pm

    I agree. Coach should have been benched Baker when he was first injured.

  2. Chaz

    December 10, 2022 at 11:14 pm

    No one knows what truly happened behind closed doors. I think there is much more to the Baker story in Cleveland than any of us mere mortals will ever know. As a lifelong Browns fan I appreciated what Mayfield did for us and I didn’t agree with the way the organazation appeared to have handled the situation. It’s puzzling really. As a fan I wish they would have let him play out his 5th year healthy and as QB1 on the depth chart starting camp. It takes time to fully mature in the NFL and I don’t think he was quite there yet. Shipping him off elsewhere certainly didn’t help that. I wish him nothing but the best except when it doesn’t benefit the Browns. WOOF!

  3. Mike

    December 11, 2022 at 4:20 am

    Baker Mayfield was good, but not good enough. Deshaun Watson is a clear upgrade. It’s really simple. The team ft Watson gave them a better chance to win.

  4. Marcia Pacak

    December 11, 2022 at 7:08 am

    Yes!! Playing him injured not only physically messed him up, but mentally too. I also feel they should have kept him until his contract was up.

  5. Jeanne

    December 11, 2022 at 9:55 am

    The Brows front office created this fan riff. Their poor handling of a bad situation that they created feels like icing on a cake that is far past overdone. A fan base that is still hanging in after over twenty years of bad decisions was slapped in the face in typical Browns fashion.
    I feel the Browns will finally lose some fan base if Watson is a bust.
    Also Browns fans that are true football fans will be rooting for Baker to do well. It’s important for the fans to see that the Browns haven’t completely trampled another good QBs career….
    Yes, I am a lifelong Browns fan! A worn and tattered fan that is tired of losing and looking foolish!

  6. Tammy

    December 12, 2022 at 7:20 pm

    There was no issuewith baker til oj beckmans and hes daddy started there stuff. Beckman is a joke. But for the administration do what the didto him was wrong. The immature 1s is the browns. Watson is a washup. I will follow baker he is football.

  7. Art of Ray

    December 17, 2022 at 6:18 am

    I liked Baker and felt the injuries and lack of cohesion in the coaching dept hurt him. I had a browns mural in my Bathroom with Baker over the sink saying “I woke up feeling dangerous”. About the 4th game I decided I to remove him and had a moving ceremony as I livestreamed every TD he threw as a Brown. Ending with a moving version of Amazing Grace with Bag Pipes. I almost shed a tear. But I quickly switched to my favorite game as a Browns fan. I decided to add my favorite player, Bernie Kosar, to replace Baker on the wall. And while I painted I streamed the two victories against the Steelers and swept them for the first time in 17 years I think.

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