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Baker Mayfield eyes fresh start, holds ‘no animosity’ vs. Browns

Baker Mayfield stated he was “shocked” to study that he was not included within the Cleveland Browns’ future plans earlier this offseason.

But the No. 1 total NFL draft decide in 2018 has had a couple of months now to digest the Browns’ resolution to exchange him with Deshaun Watson and is keen to make the most of a fresh begin along with his new crew, the Carolina Panthers.

“Shocked, I’d say, is just about the one solution to describe it,” Mayfield stated Tuesday. “But you roll with the punches, and also you’ve acquired to maneuver ahead. This is a check of adversity and the way I’m going to deal with it and the way I can transfer ahead and be one of the best teammate attainable.”

Mayfield stated he has no animosity towards the Browns, though he admits Carolina’s house opener in opposition to Cleveland on Sept. 11 shall be a “particular” sport.

Often seen as fiery and outspoken, Mayfield was humble and introspective in his first interview because the Browns dealt him to Carolina for a 2024 conditional fifth-round draft pick.

To assist facilitate the deal, Mayfield agreed to take a $3.5 million pay minimize. He’ll nonetheless make a mixed $15.5 million from the Browns and Panthers.

In taking the pay minimize, Mayfield is actually betting on himself, with free company lingering after this upcoming season.

But first, he has to win the beginning job.

Mayfield joins Sam Darnold within the quarterback room, giving the Panthers the highest two QBs from the ’18 draft — however no clear starter heading into coaching camp.

Panthers normal supervisor Scott Fitterer called it an “open competition” and predicts each will get equal reps in apply.

“The cause we now have Baker right here is to make the entire group higher as a complete,” Fitterer stated. “Our philosophy is that we wish competitors, not simply within the quarterback room however at each place.”

But previous success suggests Mayfield has a greater probability of profitable the job. He’s 29-30 as an NFL starter, whereas Darnold is 17-32. Mayfield has thrown 92 landing passes and 56 interceptions in comparison with Darnold’s 54 TD passes and 52 INTs.

Mayfield has additionally proven he can lead a crew to the playoffs, serving to the Browns go 11-5 in 2020.

Mayfield averted questions on whether or not he expects to be the crew’s starter, solely saying he desires to be one of the best quarterback he could be and assist the Panthers win video games no matter his position. He stated he likes and respects Darnold, who referred to as him shortly after the commerce to Carolina was introduced.

He doesn’t need a quarterback controversy disrupting the crew.

“If there’s drama inside that room it’s going to permeate by way of the constructing and that’s not going to be the case,” Mayfield stated. “We’re not going to let that occur.”

Fitterer stated the Panthers did loads of background checks on Mayfield earlier than the commerce.

He stated he’s comfy, and even excited, with Mayfield’s strategy to the sport.

“This is a fiery, aggressive man,” Fitterer stated. “He desires to win, He desires to be nice. I believe as a corporation we embrace that perspective. We like guys which might be like that. This is a fresh begin for him and it doesn’t matter what he’s finished up to now.”

Just how lengthy Mayfield — or Darnold — shall be in Carolina stays to be seen.

Both QBs are within the ultimate years of their rookie offers and Fitterer stated the crew shouldn’t be seeking to signal both to a contract extension till they see how they carry out on the sphere.

“We’ll let it play out all through the season and we’ll make selections based mostly on that later within the season, whether or not that’s November or December,” Fitterer stated.

And, it’s attainable the crew might half methods with each and hand over the reigns of the offense to rookie Matt Corral, the crew’s third-round draft pick of Mississippi.

As for the current, Mayfield stated he’s hoping to use the teachings he’s realized from his 4 years in Cleveland as he begins a brand new journey in Carolina.

“I’ve realized to manage what I can,” Mayfield stated. “This has been an offseason that has taught me a whole lot of endurance, loads about specializing in the priorities and realizing who’s in your nook and methods to prioritize your life and simply changing into one of the best model of myself. It’s not it any approach how I drew it up, however I’m very grateful wanting again on it.”

Reporting by Associated Press

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