Rarely have the Cleveland Browns had expectations this high entering a season. After a very successful 2020 season, Baker Mayfield, Jarvis Landry, and company aren’t shying away from the next step forward: competing for a Super Bowl.
“Why not?” Landry told the Akron Beacon Journal, when asked if the team should “be talking about” the Super Bowl this year. “It’s something that people always say you should not talk about, but nobody trains or nobody does what they do to not be a champion. So that’s the standard.
“So why not talk about it? It’s real. It’s sick to be humble about what everybody is actually chasing.”
Mayfield doesn’t blame him. After narrowly falling in the Divisional Round to the eventual AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs, the team is embracing the huge expectations. “I think everybody that plays this game is striving to be a champion. If you’re not doing that, I think you’re in it for the wrong reasons. You strive to win in everything you do. Building a winning culture is a process,” he said, when asked about Landry’s comments.
Baker Mayfield has a big year ahead of him personally, as well. He enters the fourth year of his rookie deal. The Browns have already picked up his $18.8 million fifth-year option for 2022, but he will want to take a major step forward to prove he’s worth a giant superstar quarterback contract.
Mayfield was an effective QB in the Browns’ run-first offense last year, completing 62.8-percent of his throws for 3,563 yards, 26 touchdowns, and just eight interceptions, the lowest mark of his career and down from 21 in 2019. Now, the team will hope to see him dial up bigger plays to pair with the dynamic Nick Chubb-led rushing attack.
The Cleveland Browns get Odell Beckham Jr. back from injury this year, and he’s gotten rave reviews early on this summer. That could help unlock the big-play passing game that will be big for the Browns to take the leap forward that Landry is hoping for.