We don’t yet know who will be playing quarterback for the Cleveland Browns for the majority of the 2022 season.
It’s clear that the team would like it to be Deshaun Watson, given that the Browns traded a significant haul to the Houston Texans in exchange for his services, then handed him a fully-guaranteed, $230 million contract despite his having been accused by more than two dozen women of sexual misconduct. The structure of that contract — with a minimum base salary in the first year of the deal — suggests that both Watson and the Browns expect Jacoby Brissett to start more than a few games this season, though, and that’s less than ideal.
Appearing on The Rich Eisen Show earlier this week, former NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III — who played for the Browns back in 2016 — said that he thinks the team should try to mend fences with Baker Mayfield so that he can take the reins under center if and when Watson is suspended for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
“I think the Browns should offer the olive branch to Baker and ask him to stay if Deshaun Watson gets suspended for a significant amount of time,” Griffin told Eisen. “Baker’s proven in this city he can go win a playoff game, get you to the playoffs and do all those things. Last year, he played hurt and wasn’t very effective. The bottom line is Baker Mayfield is better than Jacoby Brissett, that’s just the bottom line. And if you’re going to have to play a full season with a guy, your best option is to go back to Baker Mayfield and beg him to stay.”
For his part, Mayfield does not seem all that interested in such an arrangement. At least not right now.
“No, I think for that to happen there would have to be some reaching out but we’re ready to move on I think on both sides,” Mayfield said about the prospect of playing for the Browns this season.
Griffin thinks the Browns should do exactly that, and he even knows what they should say. “I think the Browns should approach Baker and say, ‘We need you, we’re sorry how this all worked out, but we want to give you an opportunity to go out there and prove yourself,’ and I think Baker should take that,” Griffin said.
This seems like a highly unlikely scenario, given how this entire situation has been handled to date, but with Mayfield still on the team’s roster until he’s officially traded elsewhere, it’s going to be considered a plausible option and there will be people out there who support it.