Will the Real Baker Mayfield Please Stand Up?

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The Human Q-Tip

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There are clearly conflicting philosophies among posters in here, all with the Browns’ best interest in mind. Nothing wrong with a respectful debate.

Just a friendly reminder to keep it respectful and not to make it personal.

For the record...I’m in the camp that can see a tricky situation arising with Baker in the future depending on how his season unfolds, but I am also completely confident and thankful that we seem to have the proper adults in the room (DePo, Berry, and Stefanski) to make a sound, strategic decision on him.
To some extent, I think it's a problem that will solve itself. The adults in the room won't overpay for a QB who really isn't worth it, but they also aren't going to lowball and lose a guy we can't replace. And right now, there are just too many variables in terms of how Baker will progress over the next season and a half to have much confidence in any prediction.
 

Bob_The_Cat

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To some extent, I think it's a problem that will solve itself. The adults in the room won't overpay for a QB who really isn't worth it, but they also aren't going to lowball and lose a guy we can't replace. And right now, there are just too many variables in terms of how Baker will progress over the next season and a half to have much confidence in any prediction.
Definitely agree with everything you said. I think some people, including myself, are so focused on it as we speak is because one of those decisions for the FO has to happen this offseason in regards to Baker’s 5th year option. That option will pay him $25+ mill in his 5th year, so the FO will need to be rather confident in what Baker is at the end of the season to pick that up.

The dilemma is, if you don’t pick it up, did he do enough to earn another year as the unquestioned starter, or at minimum are you spending a 3rd on a QB in 2021?

If they don’t pick up his option and he looks great next season, then you sign him long term and move on. The only issue could be potentially needing to use the franchise tag which isn’t ideal, but I’m sure they’ll deal with it if he plays well.

To me that’s the biggest dilemma in the Baker saga. If you aren’t willing to pick-up Baker’s option you’re saying at that moment you don’t fully have faith in him long term and the FO will need to do something as a backup plan in case it looks like Baker is holding back the offense next season. If Baker was in year two instead of year three, I think the conversation for most people would be way different.
 

The Human Q-Tip

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Definitely agree with everything you said. I think some people, including myself, are so focused on it as we speak is because one of those decisions for the FO has to happen this offseason in regards to Baker’s 5th year option. That option will pay him $25+ mill in his 5th year, so the FO will need to be rather confident in what Baker is at the end of the season to pick that up.

The dilemma is, if you don’t pick it up, did he do enough to earn another year as the unquestioned starter, or at minimum are you spending a 3rd on a QB in 2021?

If they don’t pick up his option and he looks great next season, then you sign him long term and move on. The only issue could be potentially needing to use the franchise tag which isn’t ideal, but I’m sure they’ll deal with it if he plays well.

To me that’s the biggest dilemma in the Baker saga. If you aren’t willing to pick-up Baker’s option you’re saying at that moment you don’t fully have faith in him long term and the FO will need to do something as a backup plan in case it looks like Baker is holding back the offense next season. If Baker was in year two instead of year three, I think the conversation for most people would be way different.
Well...here's how I look at that 5th year option.

The cost to change quarterbacks for a team that is playoff ready, both in terms of assets and opportunity cost - is significant. And I don't see a one year deal at $25M as being so significant as to cripple the franchise. So I think the decision has to be that you pick up that option unless you are sure that he cannot develop into a quarterback capable of winning a Super Bowl. Like, below Joe Flacco level. Otherwise, you pick up that option, and perhaps start hedging some bets in terms of assets in the event he doesn't do well enough during those last 2 years to warrant a long term deal.

If you don't pick up that option, you are making it much more likely that he leaves the team after next season even if he shows major signs of progress in his second year in this system. He'll take it as a slight -- as he should -- and likely feel much less loyalty to the organization. So to me, there is a big difference between what I'd want to see before extending him to a long-term deal, and what I'd want to see before extending that 5th year option. Absent the sky caving in for this season, I'm picking up that 5th year option.
 

Los216

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Well...here's how I look at that 5th year option.

The cost to change quarterbacks for a team that is playoff ready, both in terms of assets and opportunity cost - is significant. And I don't see a one year deal at $25M as being so significant as to cripple the franchise. So I think the decision has to be that you pick up that option unless you are sure that he cannot develop into a quarterback capable of winning a Super Bowl. Like, below Joe Flacco level. Otherwise, you pick up that option, and perhaps start hedging some bets in terms of assets in the event he doesn't do well enough during those last 2 years to warrant a long term deal.

If you don't pick up that option, you are making it much more likely that he leaves the team after next season even if he shows major signs of progress in his second year in this system. He'll take it as a slight -- as he should -- and likely feel much less loyalty to the organization. So to me, there is a big difference between what I'd want to see before extending him to a long-term deal, and what I'd want to see before extending that 5th year option. Absent the sky caving in for this season, I'm picking up that 5th year option.
It also depends on which QB's are available in the offseason. There's bound to be at least one or two guys who become available who aren't available right now.

Cam Newton
Carson Wentz
Jimmy Garoppolo
Derek Carr
Jamies Winston
Sam Darnold
Jacoby Brissette
Dwayne Haskins
Matt Stafford
Mitch Trubisky
Matt Ryan


I think it's safe to assume that all of those QB's will be available in the offseason so we'll see how things shake out. Either way if we are going to be moving on for baker there will be some options out there.
 
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PITCavsFan

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You bitches. Flaws and all, we're 4-1 for the first time since I was eating mashed Gerber with chance to knock off the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers at their place. Enjoy the show.

I hope this mother f*cker brings the swag and goes for 400 yards, 4 scores, and rubs his junk right in Mike Tomlin's drawn-in hairline face.
 

browniebob

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It also depends on which QB's are available in the offseason. There's bound to be at least one or two guys who become available who aren't available right now.

Carson Wentz
Jimmy Garoppolo
Derek Carr
Jamies Winston
Sam Darnold
Jacoby Brissette
Dwayne Haskins
Matt Stafford
Mitch Trubisky
Matt Ryan


I think it's safe to assume that all of those QB's will be available in the offseason so we'll see how things shake out. Either way if we are going to be moving on for baker there will be some options out there.
A real murderer's row if I've ever seen one!
 

Malacogary

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The film breakdown is really instructive. I think those people giving Mayfield a hard time for that win(!) within our fanbase are being picky. The Colts have a super-competent defense. Even if starters are out their scheme is very, very difficult to move the ball against consistently. In the first half the Browns moved well. Remember they did not punt or turn the ball over. Matt Eberflus is a fantastic coordinator and he made adjustments at the half. Sure Baker's level dipped as did that of several team members. Landry dropped balls which hit him in the hands. Jedrick Wills was badly beaten for a couple of pressures/sacks. But the Colts have an absolutely elite defense. Credit Stefanski, Van Pelt and Baker for scoring on them in four consecutive first-half drives on Sunday. It wasn't easy, especially without Nick Chubb and Wyatt Teller.

Bottom line is that Mayfield is on an upward trajectory. He is not costing us wins so far this season. He's learning and showing willingness to learn and work hard. It's not a Trubisky situation where there's zero growth and limited skills in the first place.
 

The Human Q-Tip

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It also depends on which QB's are available in the offseason. There's bound to be at least one or two guys who become available who aren't available right now.

Carson Wentz
Jimmy Garoppolo
Derek Carr
Jamies Winston
Sam Darnold
Jacoby Brissette
Dwayne Haskins
Matt Stafford
Mitch Trubisky
Matt Ryan


I think it's safe to assume that all of those QB's will be available in the offseason so we'll see how things shake out. Either way if we are going to be moving on for baker there will be some options out there.
Why do you think Carson Wentz or Derek Carr will be available? Wentz was signed just last year to a massive contract that makes him basically untradeable cap-wise, and why would the Raiders not re-sign Carr?

Other than that, I can't imagine passing up Baker's option to sign one of those other guys. It's just change for the sake of change.
 

Los216

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Why do you think Carson Wentz or Derek Carr will be available? Wentz was signed just last year to a massive contract that makes him basically untradeable cap-wise, and why would the Raiders not re-sign Carr?

Other than that, I can't imagine passing up Baker's option to sign one of those other guys. It's just change for the sake of change.
Wentz has an out after next season. He's basically an expiring deal in 2021.

As for Derek Carr it's been widely speculated since Gruden got there that he would move on from Carr sooner than later. Carr isn't owed anymore guaranteed money after this season. They can easily re-sign him but I don't think they will. I never got the sense that Gruden was gonna stick with Carr for the long haul. His contract is also super friendly but I expect them to have a new starting QB next season.
 

CBBI

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You bitches. Flaws and all, we're 4-1 for the first time since I was eating mashed Gerber with chance to knock off the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers at their place. Enjoy the show.

I hope this mother f*cker brings the swag and goes for 400 yards, 4 scores, and rubs his junk right in Mike Tomlin's drawn-in hairline face.
This whole "be happy with where things are right now because we've all seen how much worse they can be" just has never made sense to me. The fact that the Browns have been terrible for two decades just doesn't mean anything to the 2020 Browns and what they can potentially accomplish.

Many people, myself included, see a roster and a coaching staff that appear very capable of achieving a lot of positive things and thus our expectations have adjusted upward accordingly.

Going 10-6 is better than going 6-10 a hundred times out of a hundred, but I very much do not believe in the concept of "walk before you run" in the NFL.

The only thing I want as a fan is for the Browns to win the Super Bowl as soon as humanly possible. Ideally they win it this year.

If they don't win it this year, then all I want them to do this upcoming offseason is address the reasons why they didn't win the Super Bowl as intelligently and as aggressively as they can.
 

Los216

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This whole "be happy with where things are right now because we've all seen how much worse they can be" just has never made sense to me. The fact that the Browns have been terrible for two decades just doesn't mean anything to the 2020 Browns and what they can potentially accomplish.

Many people, myself included, see a roster and a coaching staff that appear very capable of achieving a lot of positive things and thus our expectations have adjusted upward accordingly.

Going 10-6 is better than going 6-10 a hundred times out of a hundred, but I very much do not believe in the concept of "walk before you run" in the NFL.

The only thing I want as a fan is for the Browns to win the Super Bowl as soon as humanly possible. Ideally they win it this year.

If they don't win it this year, then all I want them to do this upcoming offseason is address the reasons why they didn't win the Super Bowl as intelligently and as aggressively as they can.
Sounds to me like you're hating on Baker Mayfield. I won't stand for that pal. Your punishment is going to be breaking down film of every Browns QB from 99 until Baker. Then you'll have a greater appreciation for the swaggy man who wears tiger draws.
 

Vee-Rex

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The only thing I want as a fan is for the Browns to win the Super Bowl as soon as humanly possible. Ideally they win it this year.

If they don't win it this year, then all I want them to do this upcoming offseason is address the reasons why they didn't win the Super Bowl as intelligently and as aggressively as they can.
The bolded is certainly the reason our front office won't blow up the QB position for the likes of Trubisky and Winston. Great point.
 

The Human Q-Tip

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Wentz has an out after next season. He's basically an expiring deal in 2021.
You said after this offseason, not next. And we'll have to make the decision on Baker's 5th year this offseason, before knowing if Wentz is available the year after. So scratch him off. Also, that out is basically the Eagles choosing to get out from under that contract. And if the Eagles aren't willing to pay the guy $20-25M/year at that time, after all the guaranteed money and bonuses have already been paid...why should we?

As for Derek Carr it's been widely speculated since Gruden got there that he would move on from Carr sooner than later. Carr isn't owed anymore guaranteed money after this season. They can easily re-sign him but I don't think they will. I never got the sense that Gruden was gonna stick with Carr for the long haul. His contract is also super friendly but I expect them to have a new starting QB next season.
Well, regardless of what has been "widely speculated", Carr has been tearing it up for the Raiders this season, and I can't see Gruden ditching a quarterback who is playing that well. And if he isn't playing that well...why would we want him?
 
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