With just one meaningless game left, the offseason speculation about Mayfield’s future with the team has started early. Social media sleuths identified a post from Baker Mayfield’s wife, Emily, which appeared to hint at a departure from Cleveland. Whether that be just for the offseason — as the Mayfield’s have done in the past — or permanently remains to be seen.
“I’m going to miss this place,” Emily Mayfield wrote in an Instagram story, referring to a gym she attends.
The answer might be a little more obvious than the Twitter speculators might want to believe. It was announced this week that Mayfield will be getting surgery as soon as possible on his injured shoulder. Dr. Brian Schulz, M.D., sports medicine specialist and orthopedic surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles, will perform the surgery.
“I’m an extremely competitive guy, I think you guys know that,” Mayfield said Monday after being sacked nine times against the Steelers. “But now it’s time for me to start looking at what’s in the best interest for me and my health. I’ve continued to lay it out on the line and I haven’t been healthy and tried to fight for our guys. Right now I’m pretty damn beat up, to be honest with you. There’s no way around it. I gave it everything I had tonight.”
In a normal offseason, the Mayfield’s have stayed in Texas, where Baker is from.
Baker Mayfield Officially Placed on Injured Reserve
Mayfield was officially placed on injured reserve on Wednesday, along with linebacker Sione Takitaki. It’s an unfortunate end to a season that failed to meet expectations.
Mayfield passed for 3,010 yards, 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions this year. He gutted through multiple injuries to get on the field but failed to live up to the expectations the team had for him after the bye week. Both coach Kevin Stefanski and general manager Andrew Berry shared that they want the former No. 1 overall pick to play his best football down the stretch.
Mayfield passed for 597 yards, six touchdowns and seven interceptions following the bye week. The Browns went 1-2 in those games and missed out on the playoffs.
“I will wait to talk about reflecting on this season. There will be time for that,” Stefanski said. “Ultimately, I am frustrated for Baker, not to be able to finish the season and those type of things, but anything past that, I will wait to discuss.”
Stefanski: Unfair to Pin Offensive Struggles on Mayfield
Some members of the Browns faithful are completely done with Mayfield, while others want to give him a final shot while he’s healthy. While the Browns passing game was subpar, Stefanski said it’s unfair to pin that on Mayfield.
“ I know it is easy to look at the frustration that we have had offensively and you want to pin it all on one player, and that is just totally unfair,” Stefanski said. “For all of us, I just think we were at times, as a team, we have been very, very inconsistent this season – as an offense certainly. All things that we will look at long term here once the season is over and have a chance to look at all of it, but certainly, there are frustrations there.”
The timeline for Mayfield’s surgery is 4-6 months, which would give him a shot to return to the field for OTAs.