Baker Mayfield has been underwhelming, to say the least, this season for the Cleveland Browns. His issues have been exacerbated by a torn labrum to his non-throwing shoulder since Week 2.
It was announced last night after their loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers that Mayfield would be having surgery in the offseason, and that his status for Week 18 was up in the air. It turns out we didn’t have to wait long for an announcement.
Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski has announced that Mayfield will not play in Week 18 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
“I’m frustrated for Baker to not be able to finish the season,” Stefanski said Tuesday. Stefanski added that “both sides were very involved” in the decision to end Mayfield’s season a week early.
Baker said following Monday’s game that he would discuss the decision to play next week with his team, family, and agent, and it seems he has decided that it is time to shut it down for the season.
#Browns Kevin Stefanski said both the team and Baker Mayfield's agent and family had a hand in the decision. Said he talked to Baker's agent and Baker himself before making the decision.
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) January 4, 2022
Kevin Stefanski also said that he does not have a timetable of the quarterback’s recovery process following the surgery.
“I’m going to get my shoulder fixed,” Mayfield said after the defeat. “I want to be able to come back next year at 100%.”
This season has certainly been a year to forget for Mayfield and the Browns. Baker only has 3,010 yards on the season with 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, while the Browns are sitting at a disappointing 7-9 record a year after making the playoffs.
With the end of Baker’s season comes uncertainty for him and the Cleveland Browns going forward. Mayfield is due $18.858 million fully guaranteed on his fifth-year option in 2022 and will be in line to be a free agent next season.
The Browns will need to decide whether or not they believe that this year was a product of the injuries Mayfield has been playing with, or if he is potentially not the future quarterback of the team going forward.