CLEVELAND — While he's still on the Browns roster, quarterback Baker Mayfield and the team suffered a split this offseason, with the Browns trading for Deshaun Watson and currently working to deal Mayfield to his next team. While the Browns have spoken about the split since the Watson trade, Mayfield made his first comments on the "YNK: You know what I mean?" podcast, discussing his split with the team.
At the start of last season, the Browns looked as though they were legitimate contenders. Until, that is, Mayfield suffered a shoulder injury the following week, made worse as the season went on. Mayfield played through a torn labrum and fractured humerus bone, but whether or not he should keep playing remained a question and the season turned into a nightmare.
"I was trying to be tough and fight through it, but then I basically wasn't as capable of doing what I normally was. So when I wasn't performing on the field, that's when it really started going downhill," Mayfield said on the podcast. "That's when I started losing my own self-confidence and just losing myself."
The lack of confidence was evident in the play that saw the Browns miss the playoffs after a successful 2020 season that had given fans hope for a franchise turnaround.
"This past year was rough. It was rough on me, on my family. It sucked because I knew what I could be doing but I physically wasn't in a state to do it and then because physically it was mental...now I don't know where I'm going next," Mayfield said on the podcast.
General manager Andrew Berry made it clear that they would be exploring every avenue for improving the roster heading into this season, including a quarterback. But while Mayfield knew they were looking at possible upgrades, he didn't know that the team would actively pursue and then go on to land Watson in a trade.
"I feel disrespected, 100%, because I was told one thing and they completely did another," Mayfield said on the podcast.
With the Browns parting ways with Mayfield, the quarterback's future is uncertain at this time. The Browns will look to trade him, but they'll have to wait for the market to open up. The next team on Mayfield's radar is the Seattle Seahawks, who are in need of a starting quarterback after trading Russell Wilson to the Broncos.
"Seattle, probably be the most likely option, but even then...I'm ready for the next chapter, next opportunity," Mayfield said. "I have no idea where I'm going, but I'm not nervous. I've gone through a lot of **** in the past few years, but now I'm going to control what I can control, I'm going to try and impact as many people as I possibly can and work my *** off doing it."
No matter where Mayfield lands, he said on the podcast that he feels like he can walk away from Cleveland with no regrets and is appreciative of the time he spent here.
"I really truly honestly have no regrets of my time in Cleveland of what I tried to give to that place and true Clevelanders and true Browns fans know that, and that's why I can walk away from the whole situation feeling like I did it," Mayfield said.
You can listen to the full YNK: you know what I mean? podcast episode with Mayfield here.
Camryn Justice is a digital content producer at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @camijustice.
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