AP source: Mayfield requests trade after Browns chase Watson

Mar 17, 2022, 1:24 AM | Updated: 4:49 pm
FILE - Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield watches teammates warm up for an NFL football ga...

FILE - Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield watches teammates warm up for an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Jan. 9, 2022, in Cleveland. Knowing he's probably done with the Browns, Mayfield posted a long note on social media, thanking Cleveland and its fans for embracing him and his wife, Emily.(AP Photo/David Richard, File)

(AP Photo/David Richard, File)

Baker Mayfield wants out of Cleveland immediately. The Browns aren’t willing to let him go just yet.

And once again, a team with endless quarterback issues is dealing with another major mess.

Mayfield requested to be traded by the Browns on Thursday after the team failed in its pursuit of controversial Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson, two people familiar with the discussions told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Mayfield asked to be dealt shortly after the Browns were told by Watson and his representatives that the three-time Pro Bowler wasn’t waiving his no-trade clause to come to Cleveland, said the people who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

The team, in turn, denied Mayfield’s demand, said one person with knowledge of the Browns’ decision.

It’s a stunning descent for Mayfield, who just 15 months ago led Cleveland to its first playoff appearance in nearly 20 years and first postseason win since 1994.

The Browns’ strong interest in Watson angered Mayfield, who is coming off a rough 2021 season followed by shoulder surgery in January. The overtures toward one of the NFL’s top QBs appears to have ended Mayfield’s tumultuous four-year run in Cleveland.

“It’s in the mutual interest of both sides for us to move on,” Mayfield told ESPN. “The relationship is too far gone to mend. It’s in the best interests of both sides to move on.”

Led by Cleveland owner Jimmy Haslam, the Browns sent a delegation to Houston on Tuesday and made a presentation hoping to entice Watson, who became a potential option for them after a grand jury declined to indict him last week on sexual misconduct claims brought by 22 women.

Watson is also being pursed by Atlanta, New Orleans and Carolina.

The Browns’ trip triggered a strong reaction from Mayfield. He ended his social media hiatus by posting what read like a goodbye letter on Twitter and Instagram, expressing disappointment and confusion over the situation.

“I have no clue what happens next, which is the meaning behind the silence I have had during the duration of this process,” Mayfield wrote. “I can only control what I can, which is trusting in God’s plan throughout this process.

“I have given this franchise everything I have. That is something I’ve always done at every stage, and at every level. And that will not change wherever I take my next snap.”

Mayfield, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2018, is under contract for one more season at $18.8 million, the final year of his rookie deal. He’s been eligible for a long-term extension, but the Browns haven’t offered one.

The team seems willing to rectify the current situation with Mayfield. But that looks like a formidable challenge now that Cleveland has shown it doesn’t believe Mayfield is the one to take it to the top of the AFC.

Because he’s under contractual control, Mayfield can’t go anywhere unless he doesn’t want to play.

It wasn’t long ago the Browns appeared to have finally moved on from drama that has plagued the organization for years. But the rift with Mayfield is at the least a public relations headache, if not a setback.

While there are no current plans to trade Mayfield, it’s possible the Browns will be approached by other teams interested in the 26-year-old. Indianapolis and Seattle could both be landing spots for the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner, who is 30-31 as an NFL starter.

If Mayfield is dealt, Cleveland would need a starting quarterback and could explore trades for San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo or Green Bay’s Jordan Love. There’s also a free-agent market to consider with Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston among the current QBs looking for a new team.

There’s also the draft. Cleveland has the No. 13 pick and could use it to select a prospect to groom as its future starter or sit behind an established veteran.

The Browns have a plan.

At the moment, Mayfield isn’t part of it.


More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://apnews.com/hub/pro-32 and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Canada's Nirra Fields, left, runs past Puerto Rico's Trinity San Antonio during their quarterfinal ...
Associated Press

Canada into women’s World Cup semis for 1st time since 1986

SYDNEY (AP) — No one on Canada’s roster was alive the last team the team won a medal at the women’s World Cup. Now the Canadians are a win away from winning one for the first time since 1986, when they captured the bronze. Kia Nurse scored 17 points to lead a balanced Canada team […]
1 day ago
FILE - Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala handles the ball during the second half of an N...
Associated Press

Warriors-Wizards games in Japan to woo NBA fans, sponsors

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese basketball fans will get to see NBA stars up close when the reigning league-champion Golden State Warriors take on the Washington Wizards in two preseason games. Not surprisingly, Stephen Curry and Japanese-born Rui Hachimura will be the star attractions for each team. And as clearly as the logo of Japanese online […]
1 day ago
New York Yankees' Aaron Judge celebrates his 61st home run of the season, a two-run shot against th...
Associated Press

Maris Jr: Bonds, McGwire illegitimate, Judge to be HR king

TORONTO (AP) — Roger Maris Jr. considers the home run feats of Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa to be illegitimate and says Aaron Judge should be recognized as the holder of the big league season standard if the New York Yankees slugger hits No. 62. “He should be revered for being the actual […]
1 day ago
San Diego Padres' Manny Machado, right, jokes with Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Gavin Lux (9)...
Associated Press

Freeman has RBI single in 10th, gives Dodgers 107th win

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Freddie Freeman helped the Atlanta Braves win the World Series last year and on Wednesday night he helped the Los Angeles Dodgers set the franchise season record with their 107th victory. Freeman singled in Mookie Betts with one out in the 10th inning and the Dodgers beat the San Diego Padres […]
1 day ago
New York Yankees' Aaron Judge hugs his mother, Patty Judge, after the team's baseball game against ...
Associated Press

Fans miss 61 HR ball, Jays bullpen coach gets it to Judge

TORONTO (AP) — When Aaron Judge’s American League record-tying 61st home run dropped into Toronto’s bullpen, coach Matt Buschmann picked it up. “Bad news is I’m down here in Florida battling a hurricane, but the good news is I can announce my retirement,” tweeted Buschmann’s wife, Sara Walsh, a Fox Sports reporter and former ESPN […]
1 day ago
Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Michael Lorenzen throws to an Oakland Athletics batter during t...
Associated Press

Trout hits 38th homer, Lorenzen sharp as Angels beat A’s 4-1

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Mike Trout hit his 38th home run, Michael Lorenzen went five strong innings and the Los Angeles Angels continued their success against the Oakland Athletics with a 4-1 victory on Wednesday night. Taylor Ward also homered, while Lorenzen (8-6) gave up an unearned run to lower his ERA to 0.45 against […]
1 day ago
AP source: Mayfield requests trade after Browns chase Watson