The Browns’ season opener is only days away, but it doesn’t sound like the organization is any closer to extending Baker Mayfield. Cleveland’s front office and Mayfield’s reps still haven’t engaged in “substantive extension talks,” per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.
This isn’t a huge surprise, as Cabot notes that “this has been the plan all along” and both sides are “cool” with the timing. On the flip side, it’s a bit surprising that the two sides haven’t at least swapped different variations of an extension. It was assumed that the two sides would be able to proceed on negotiations after Josh Allen inked his new deal with the Bills, but there haven’t been any developments in Cleveland since early August.
From Mayfield’s perspective, it makes some sense to wait on a new deal. After all, the former first-overall pick is already locked into his $18.85MM salary for 2022. If Mayfield takes another step this upcoming season, he could command a new contract that pays north of $40MM per season. His track record probably doesn’t warrant that demand at the moment.
The former No. 1 overall pick finished second in the 2018 Offensive Rookie of the Year voting but regressed in 2019. After the Oklahoma product bounced back in 2020, the Browns may be willing to see if he can keep that momentum going to start this season before committing. For what it’s worth, Mayfield recently made it clear that he didn’t mind negotiating during the upcoming season, so one of the sides could end up blinking in the upcoming weeks.