Browns News: Massive Deshaun Watson Contract Proves Baker Mayfield Was Right to Demand a Trade

The Cleveland Browns won the massive bidding war for quarterback Deshaun Watson. Thanks to record-setting guaranteed money and a whole haul of draft picks, the Browns front office convinced Watson to come to Cleveland, hopefully setting up the franchise to compete with the Chiefs, Bills, Bengals, etc.

Of course, now that Watson is the Browns’ new franchise quarterback, former starter Baker Mayfield will be on the move.

Baker Mayfield has already requested a trade away from the Browns

Browns QB Baker Mayfield.
Baker Mayfield | Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Mayfield read the tea leaves before the rest of us. The moment he caught wind of the Browns’ interest in Watson, he put out a statement thanking the Cleveland fan base, followed by a formal trade request to the Browns front office.

At this point in time, it was unclear that Cleveland would land Watson. Fans and analysts were quick to pounce on Mayfield for giving up on the Browns before being replaced. Many viewed it as an act of immaturity.

However, in hindsight, it’s clear that Mayfield had seen the cracks forming in his relationship with the Browns. He knew the team wanted to move in another direction. The massive contract they guaranteed to a controversial figure in Watson proves Mayfield was actually justified to request a trade when he did.

The Browns weren’t hiding their dislike of their former QB

Mayfield may have jumped the gun with his public goodbye post. However, looking back on how the situation played out, it’s blatantly apparent the Browns weren’t fans of Mayfield anymore.

Not only did the Cleveland front office trade six draft picks to the Houston Texans for Watson, they also handed him the most guaranteed money in NFL history. It’s an unfathomably large commitment to a player who hasn’t stepped foot on an NFL field in over a year.

To make matters even worse, it’s still up in the air whether Watson will be suspended or not. Watson is avoiding criminal charges due to a Grand Jury’s ruling. However, he still has active civil suits against him. The NFL has suspended players for far less.

If you’re Mayfield, it’s impossible not to feel disrespected in this situation. Not only did the Browns scoff at your trade request, but they turned around and paid a record-breaking price for a player with serious off-the-field concerns.

Baker Mayfield deserves a fresh start

Mayfield is by no means a perfect quarterback. However, it’s hard to blame him for anything that’s transpired in Cleveland over the past several years.

He’s battled through injuries and hardships to get the Browns to a respected level in the NFL, just to be replaced by a player with sexual assault allegations. Mayfield undoubtedly deserves a fresh start with a new team.

Browns GM Andrew Berry should have honored Mayfield’s trade request in the first place. Maybe Mayfield would be a Colt (Mayfield’s preferred destination) if he had. However, the best thing Cleveland can do for Mayfield, after so drastically disrespecting him, is make sure he finds a new home sometime soon.

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