NFL rumors: Latest on Browns, Baker Mayfield, Deshaun Watson

Baker Mayfield Steelers Browns Deshaun Watson
Baker Mayfield
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Baker Mayfield’s future as the starting quarterback of the Cleveland Browns is on shaky ground after the team met with Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson this week — and he has certainly made the realization that his time with the franchise that drafted him No. 1 overall in 2018 could be coming to an end.

Mayfield took to social media late Tuesday night to send a message of thanks to the city of Cleveland should this, in fact, be the end of his time there (transcribed below):

The past four years have been nothing short of truly life changing since I heard my name called in the draft to go to Cleveland. This is not a message with hidden meaning. This is strictly to thank the city of Cleveland for embracing my family and me. We have made many memories and shared growing in this process through all the ups and downs. I have no clue what happens next, which is the meaning behind the silence I have had during the duration fo this process. I can only control what I can, which is trrusting in God’s plan throughout this process.

I have given this franchise everything I have. That is something I’ve always done at every stage, and at every level. And that will not change wherever I take my next snap. Whatever happens.. I just want to say thank you to the fans who truly embraced who I am and the mentality that aligned so well with this city’s hardworking people.

Cleveland will always be a part of Emily and my story. And we will always be thankful for the impact it has had and will have in our lives.

The 26-year-old Texas native had his worst season yet as a pro in 2021, completing just 60.5% of his passes for 3,010 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions in 14 games despite at one point having a dangerous core of receivers that featured Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr.

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Mayfield’s inability to get Beckham the ball on a consistent basis helped lead the receiver to force a trade midway through the season to the eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams. Meanwhile, Landry was released earlier this week after he and the Browns failed to restructure his contract.

Suddenly, the Browns find themselves in flux again, which is why nabbing a three-time Pro Bowler in Watson is such an important move — even if it comes with the baggage of off-field legal issues.

Deshaun Watson
Deshaun WatsonTrevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Browns have plenty of competition for Watson, however. The Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints already met with the quarterback down in Houston this week and have “significant offers” on the table that include three first-round picks “and more,” according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Cleveland has put forth a similar offer of three first-round picks and more, per Rapoport. However, Mayfield is not expected to be a part of such a deal, according to’s Mary Kay Cabot, seeing as the Texans only want picks and are prepared to start Davis Mills under center next season.

Should the Browns come away with Watson, Mayfield wouldn’t have a shortage of suitors on the trade market. The Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts are just two teams that are in need of a new passer after parting ways with Russell Wilson and Carson Wentz earlier this month.