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Reporter Says Browns Are Already Making A "Mistake" With Baker Mayfield

A closeup of Baker Mayfield in a Cleveland Browns headband.

Baker Mayfield has only been a Cleveland Brown for a couple of weeks. According to one reporter, though, a "mistake" has already been made.

That mistake is not the fault of the quarterback's though. It's the fault of the franchise. That's what Sports Illustrated's Andy Benoit thinks, anyway.

Cleveland head coach Hue Jackson has consistently said that Tyrod Taylor, whom the Browns traded for this offseason, will be the team's starter. Mayfield has no chance to be QB1, according to his coach.

This is a mistake, according to Benoit.


This is misguided political correctness spiraling out of control. Jackson feels he has to say this because Taylor will be 29 in August and has paid his NFL dues; he doesn’t want the 23-year-old Baker Mayfield to look entitled. But it’s not like Taylor is a tested veteran who’s beloved in Cleveland’s locker room—he just arrived a few months ago. The Browns traded the 65th overall pick to get him. They spent the first overall pick on Mayfield. A safe assumption is the Browns spent 10,000% more time and effort researching Mayfield than they did Taylor. They’ve trumpeted Mayfield’s football IQ and natural leadership. If they actually believe in their scouting process, why not declare Mayfield the starter right now? Why give even one of No. 1 pick’s reps to the guy you acquired with the 65th pick?

Jackson wouldn’t buy a new Rolls Royce and tell everyone he’s committed to the used Nissan Altima he just got at auction. He wouldn’t book a nonrefundable first-class seat then plan to fly economy. He wouldn’t purchase a beach house in Maui but prepare to spend offseasons in Tulsa.

What stinks is a few weeks into August, after Jackson has pointlessly given hundreds of Mayfield’s valuable practice reps to Taylor, Jackson will come out and announce Mayfield the starter, saying how they’re blown away at how quickly Mayfield has come along. They shouldn’t be—he’s the guy they chose over literally everyone else in this draft.

Mayfield will probably end up starting for the Browns at some point this season. Will it be Week 1? That would be surprising.

Cleveland opens its 2018 season on Sept. 9 against the Steelers. Who will be lined up under center that day?