This move obviously makes it clear that the Browns do not plan to play Baker Mayfield, and it is expected that the team will either trade or release the disgruntled quarterback at some point before the 2022 NFL season.
Watson is clearly approaching 2022 like he will be the day 1 starter for the team, despite an ongoing investigation by the NFL into the former Pro Bowler’s accusation of sexual misconduct from 24 different massage therapists. That investigation by the NFL could very well find that Watson violated their conduct policy, and Watson plans to meet with the investigators this week.
For the time being, however, Watson is planning a trip to the Bahamas for his teammates on offense for some on-field work and team bonding. Browns beat writer Mary Kay Cabot has reported that there will be one omission on this trip.
Baker Mayfield reportedly does not plan to go on the trip, which further hints at a trade coming sooner rather than later for the former first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) May 16, 2022
It makes sense that Mayfield doesn’t want to participate in offseason activities with team members that he likely won’t have in a couple of months, which many around the NFL world pointed out.
Thanks captain obvious 😂🥴🙄 https://t.co/mFVd6DdiYB
— Ty Wilson (@FirelandFF66) May 16, 2022
That even had to be said!? https://t.co/swuqrXliS9
— Greg Makoski (@i_G0LF) May 16, 2022
I'll say it again—if I'm Baker Mayfield, I'm showing up for everything. If you're not there, out of sight, out of mind, no urgency to move you. If you show up … things are kind of awkward, and it could motivate a trade.
Plus, showing up sends the right message to other teams. https://t.co/tIJcKMvLEB
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) May 16, 2022
It certainly would have been awkward if Mayfield decided to go on this trip with the quarterback that the team decided to replace him with. It still appears that there are potential suitors for Mayfield, but they may be reluctant to pay for much of his $18.8 million contract that the Browns owe him in 2022.
Reports emerged on Sunday that the Carolina Panthers are still eying both Mayfield and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who also comes with a big contract next to his name for 2022.
It’s unclear what is exactly in store for Mayfield going forward, but it appears like Browns team members are having no trouble moving on from the Baker Mayfield era in Cleveland.