Baker Mayfield has never been afraid to speak his mind, even if it means making some people angry. Just this offseason alone, the second-year quarterback has fired back at critics and gone after the quarterback of his collegiate rival.
In a new ESPN profile released today, the Cleveland Browns’ signal caller took a jab at another NFL team, though it might not be one you expect. It wasn’t a division rival, or even a team on the Browns’ 2019 schedule.
In the piece, Mayfield was asked by ESPN’s Mina Kimes about his April back-and-forth with Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd. Cowherd has been a frequent detractor of Mayfield’s, but it was his criticism of new Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. that sent the QB over the edge.
Mayfield told Kimes he gets irritated when outsiders “perpetuate misinformation about the wide receiver.” Then, he took aim at the New York Giants, Beckham’s former team.
“He’s here to work, and he wants to be surrounded by people who love him and support him and allow him to be himself,” he says. “He’s here to play in front of fans who actually care, who will actually show up to every game and pack the stadium and love him for who he is.” (Regrettably, the Browns do not play the Giants this year.)
Mayfield’s statements seem to echo Beckham’s assertion from earlier this summer that the Giants “stunted my physical, mental, spiritual growth.” It is no secret that the mercurial superstar, while beloved by teammates, drew the ire of the New York front office and coaching staff.
As for the knock on Giants fans, well, New York did outrank the Browns in attendance last season, though MetLife Stadium’s capacity is larger than FirstEnergyStadium’s. Cleveland fans are no doubt incredibly loyal, and they might seem to care more now because they are finally a team on the rise while the Giants lost 10 or more games in four of the five seasons Beckham played for the franchise.
Lastly, there was (still is) certainly a sizable faction of Big Blue supporters who disliked Beckham or felt he was an overall negative influence, but the dynamic wideout was also incredibly popular and well-liked by many fans. Overall, Mayfield hit on some truth in his comments, but also was a bit hyperbolic.
Just an FYI: the Browns and Giants will play each other in New Jersey next season. That should be fun.
The entire article from Kimes is worth reading, and it even features the added bonus of dog pictures. Check it out here.