Baker Mayfield Talks Deshaun Watson Suspension, Week 1 Matchup vs Browns

Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield spoke about taking on the Cleveland Browns, led by quarterback Jacoby Brissett, in Week 1.

The Cleveland Browns were looking to acquire Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans this offseason despite multiple allegations of sexual assault and misconduct. 2018 team No. 1 Baker Mayfield asked the team for a trade, which was denied. But when the Browns made the trade for Watson, the team was open to sending Mayfield elsewhere, which happened to be the Carolina Panthers, their Week 1 opponents.

On Monday, NFL Disciplinary Officer Sue L. Robinson recommended Watson a six-game ban for violating the League’s Personal Conduct Policy. He misses the week one matchup against the Panthers.

Shortly after the news broke, Mayfield was asked by CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson if she could face the Browns, who are led by Jacoby Brissett as starting quarterback due to Watson’s suspension. You can listen to Mayfield’s response at the 1:08 mark of Anderson’s tweet below:

Baker Mayfield comments on facing Browns Week 1 without Deshaun Watson

“It’s none of my business, honestly,” Mayfield said. “I’m not playing the other quarterback. I know it’s the most cliche thing to say, that’s just the truth. When it comes down to it, I plan the game against their defense and whether I play or not, I try to help this team win. That’s my way of thinking, so I have to keep getting better.”

Mayfield had a poor season last year, in part due to a shoulder injury he played through. But the year before, Mayfield played a role in the team making the playoffs for the first time since 2002 and earning their first playoff win since the 1994 season.

However, when Watson became available, the Browns wanted to add him. After the criminal charges were dropped, trade talks intensified and Cleveland was able to win him after sending several draft picks. But perhaps the craziest thing was that despite the threat of an NFL penalty, the team gave Watson a five-year, $230 million, fully guaranteed contract.

This left Mayfield out of the team as the team brought in Brissett to support Watson. After long waiting, The Panthers acquired Mayfield for a conditional fifth-round draft pick in 2024.

Mayfield now joins a quarterback that includes Sam Darnold, 2018 third-picker, 2022 third-round pick Matt Corral, and PJ Walker and will be in contention for the Week 1 starting job.

The quarterback’s response regarding the encounter with the Brissett-led Browns was a bit of a nothing burger, but he said his focus is on helping the team win whether he’s playing or not. Baker Mayfield Talks Deshaun Watson Suspension, Week 1 Matchup vs Browns

John Verrall

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