Jake Trotter spelling out the disfunction in Cleveland. It's not all on Baker, by any means, which is why he should learn to shut his mouth and he might actually engender some sympathy. Taking the douche route is what he does though.
After Beckham’s father ripped Mayfield publicly and speculation grew about Beckham being on his way out, multiple players lobbied for Cleveland to keep OBJ on the team.
“I feel like the majority of this locker room would love to have him in this building,” safety John Johnson III said then. “Flat out.”
As one source put it, the way Beckham exited Cleveland “poisoned the well” for Mayfield with some teammates.
- The offense and defense
On Christmas Day, after rejoining the Browns from the reserve/COVID-19 list, Mayfield threw four interceptions in a loss at Green Bay that diminished Cleveland’s playoff hopes. After Mayfield’s second interception, Johnson, who was back in Cleveland on the reserve/COVID-19 list, immediately tweeted, “RUN THE DAMN BALL.”
- Baker and Kevin Stefanski
As Mayfield was losing confidence in himself, he had also begun losing faith in Stefanski, according to multiple sources, even though the two had thrived the year before during Cleveland’s unexpected playoff run.
- The organization and Mayfield
According to multiple sources, those close to Mayfield — who to that point had missed one game because of his shoulder injury — wondered at the time if the Browns were trying to make Mayfield look as hapless as possible in prime time, to potentially pave the way for the franchise to more easily explain why it might be moving on from him in the offseason.
After the Pittsburgh loss, Mayfield told reporters he would be conferring with his family and agent — not the team — about whether he would play in the season finale against Cincinnati.
- Front office and Mayfield
The Browns picked up the fifth-year option on Mayfield’s contract on April 23, 2021, but even after the playoff win, the team refrained from engaging Mayfield’s camp on extension talks last offseason, according to multiple sources. It was a signal to Mayfield that the team was unsure he was their long-term answer at quarterback.