Rumors began circulating this week around the possibility of Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield requesting a trade this offseason because of issues with head coach Kevin Sefanski.
Well, Mayfield claimed these rumors are false Thursday in a tweet to a local Cleveland reporter who wrote on the rumors.
Clickbait. You and many other Cleveland local media continue to be drama stirring reporters with no sources or facts. Don’t put words in my mouth so you can put food on your table. I’m not your puppet. https://t.co/MfHnqWk65s
— Baker Mayfield (@bakermayfield) January 6, 2022
The rumors really gained momentum in mid-December after Mayfield said he’s been dealing with “internal things” with the Browns this year that have contributed to some of his on-field issues. His comments about the team weren’t exactly clear.
“It comes down to trying to find an even balance of listening to those opinions around you that truly matter — friends, family, teammates,” Mayfield said in an interview with NFL Network’s Kurt Warner. “That’s been the tricky part about this year: There’s been a lot of internal things. It hasn’t been just outside noise.”
Stefanski replied to these comments by saying that he and Mayfield communicate almost every day. It’s unclear what Mayfield was referring to, and Stefanski hasn’t offered more details since then.
#Browns OC Alex Van Pelt doesn’t sense any tension between Baker Mayfield nd Kevin Stefanski. “I’ve seen zero of that. I don’t feel that at all.”
— Tom Withers (@twithersAP) January 6, 2022
Mayfield has been dealing with injuries through most of the season, and he is expected to undergo left shoulder surgery on Jan. 19 to repair a torn labrum. He will sit out the Browns’ final game of the season against the Bengals on Sunday. The Browns have already been eliminated from the playoffs.
Mayfield’s rookie contract, signed in 2018, was a four year, $32,682,980 deal, according to Spotrac. In the contract, a fifth-year option was available, and the Browns chose to use this option in April after Mayfield’s playoff run in the 2020-21 season. The deal in 2022 will be for $18.9 million.
Mayfield could still be cut or traded this offseason, despite him calling the trade rumors “clickbait.” Ultimately, it’s up to the Browns whether they want to keep the quarterback.