Personal meaning

Baker Mayfield says game against Browns has more ‘personal meaning’

Speaking to Panthers.com, former Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield discussed his Week 1 game against his former team.

CLEVELAND — Baker Mayfield is scheduled to speak with reporters Tuesday afternoon as the Carolina Panthers officially introduce the former Cleveland Browns quarterback.

Mayfield, however, didn’t wait until then to share his thoughts on his new team’s Week 1 game against his old team, admit to Panthers.com that he already has Carolina’s 9/11 contest against Cleveland circled on his schedule.

“I’m not going to sit here and be a robot and tell you this isn’t the one I’ve already marked on the calendar,” Mayfield said. “One is not who I am. For me it’s about winning games. Whoever we scored on the schedule, I’m going to try to win. Obviously this one has a little more story and personal meaning, but for me it’s about winning and setting the tone for the rest of the year, and even if I can help this team do that, I will.”

Asked by the team’s website if he’s one to hold grudges, the Oklahoma product replied with a smile, “I try not to.”

Last week, the Browns traded Mayfield to the Panthers, completing a messy start for the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. After Cleveland pursued a trade for Houston Texans star Deshaun Watson after a disappointing 2021 season, Mayfield asked for a trade – a request the Browns initially refused before eventually agreeing to a trade for Watson.

Yet despite Cleveland acquiring Watson in March, the Browns were ultimately unable to trade their former quarterback until July, largely due to a lack of suitors willing to take on the 18.8 million dollar. Mayfield dollars. In order to ease the trade with Carolina, Cleveland agreed to pay $10 million of the 27-year-old caller’s salary, with Mayfield also taking a $3.5 million pay cut – money he could recoup later in the form of incentives.

In return, the Browns received a conditional fifth-round pick in 2024, which could become a fourth-round pick depending on playing time.

“There was a bit of sacrifice on all three fronts, between Cleveland, Carolina, and myself,” Mayfield told Panthers.com. “For me, it’s first and foremost ready for a fresh start. I’m extremely grateful for the four years I spent in Cleveland, it’s a great football city. It’s the start of my career, whatever however long, God willing, it will be. I’m grateful.

“A lot of ups and downs, a lot of things I learned, but ultimately it was wanting a fresh start, wanting to be with a coach and a general manager who really wanted me, . . . and just wanting the same, and that’s to win football matches.”