If Deshaun Watson is suspended, should Baker Mayfield play QB for the Browns this season? | You Pod To Win The Game

Yahoo Sports Senior NFL Writer Charles Robinson is joined by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler to discuss the future of Baker Mayfield with the Cleveland Browns amid the uncertainty surrounding Deshaun Watson’s 2022 playing status.

Video transcript

CHARLES ROBINSON: Is there any shot you think whatsoever, and I've kind of maintained this idea that if it comes down to it, let's say Watson gets suspended for the totality of 2022.


CHARLES ROBINSON: I personally believe the best scenario for Baker is to stay in Cleveland, know your starter.


CHARLES ROBINSON: It's got a good team around him, ball out, and basically just throw up the deuces, double birds to Andrew Berry at the end of the season and go, thanks. And go on the Kirk Cousins tour, because here's the thing. I think he goes to Carolina. There's like, no consensus about almost anything in Carolina between David Tepper, Scott Fitterer, and Matt Rhule. Like, it's insane the way that things kind of get decided there and the different thought processes in the building. So who knows what you're walking into there, right? Seattle, every time I talk Seattle, they're like, well, hey, Drew Lock's pretty good. Like, Drew Lock's got some tools. We like Drew Lock.

JEREMY FOWLER: Yeah, yeah.

CHARLES ROBINSON: I still don't think there's a guarantee he walks into Seattle and there's someone sitting there going, well, we know who's got the better arm. So you don't know if he gets into a quagmire there either, plus he has to learn the offense. The best offensive line, the best running backs, he's got a pretty damn good wide receiving core and tight end. If everybody's healthy in Cleveland I think Baker would have an opportunity to actually have a good season, take it back to 2020, and then there's going to be a team out there that's going to go, yeah, you know what? We're willing to pay this guy now.

JEREMY FOWLER: Yeah. See that's a total logical scenario, right? But then we talked about this on a show a couple of weeks ago and I had to literally write down on a pad like, all the issues between Mayfield and the Browns.


JEREMY FOWLER: Just to kind of convince myself that this is just not feasible at all for him to come back there. It was really long. I don't have it in front of me.

CHARLES ROBINSON: You need a new pad.

JEREMY FOWLER: Yeah, yeah. Seriously, like all the things that he said.


JEREMY FOWLER: Right. All the slights. Yeah, they clearly don't want him there. Like, I just think all that festers. Like, you know the buzz word in the NFL's culture. Everybody over uses that. But I think it's for this very reason, right? I just don't see a scenario where you could bring him back there and he would like, fuse seamlessly with the team in the locker room at this point. I just.


JEREMY FOWLER: I don't know. But on paper strategically and as far as the offense.

CHARLES ROBINSON: It makes sense.

JEREMY FOWLER: Yes. Because you mentioned like, acclimating to a new offense. That is a massive discussion point in all this. Because if you don't get traded till August or late July, you're coming in cold. Carolina and Seattle are not like, winning products of offense right now, right? You're looking on paper. They got some weapons, but like, you don't know what you're getting into. In Seattle, Geno Smith knows the offense really well there.


JEREMY FOWLER: He would be well ahead of Mayfield as far as that stuff. So it's difficult. He's got to think about where do I go where I can be-- I can showcase myself. And you're right, Cleveland probably is the best case. I just, I don't think there's any chance in hell the Browns want him on the field this year. I just don't.

CHARLES ROBINSON: You haven't had OTAs. You haven't had the passing program. You haven't been studying the offense. Like you said, I mean, there's like a multitude of issues. You don't know what the chemistry is going to be like. God forbid you get hurt, you know? And that slows your progress. I mean, all these different things could possibly happen. But you're right. I mean, with the Browns he's had issues. With Stefanski he does not trust Andrew Berry or the front office. He thinks they're absolute liars.


CHARLES ROBINSON: He knows that there's a contingent in that locker room that does not like him and that he feels like a stabbed him in the back, particularly over the Odell Beckham Jr. Stuff. It's wild to see ultimately how this thing is going to play out, particularly the backdrop, obviously, of what's going on now with Deshaun Watson.