The Baker Mayfield experiment has worked rather well for the Cleveland Browns as their rookie quarterback impressed in his first couple of games.
Baker Mayfield has worked with the second team coming off the bench for veteran Tyrod Taylor who the Browns traded a third-round pick for in March. There is no surprise the Cleveland Browns ideally would start Taylor. They did trade the #65 pick and bring on Taylor’s $16 million cap hit. However, not giving the number one pick in the draft any reps with the first team to avoid ditching a plan is not logical in the NFL.
Hue Jackson is lucky to have a job after starting 1-31 with the Cleveland Browns. Yes, the collection of talent was beyond poor. It is also the primary reason owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam cite in reflection of Jackson’s previous two years in Cleveland. Of course, their history of possessing a quick trigger when it comes to a head coaches job is a bad look – and keeping Hue avoids reinforcing that.
Perhaps that’s where Hue is at as well. His handling of the Browns quarterback room (as poor as it was) was baffling at times. Regardless, Baker Mayfield is the #1 pick in the draft and should be treated as such. Not that he should be guaranteed a starting job by any means but rather get some form of experience with the first team which will eventually be his.
Tyrod Taylor should be, without a doubt, the Week 1 starter for the Cleveland Browns.
Although, what happens if a freak accident occurs and Mayfield is suddenly hurled into a game without taking any reps with the first team? And are the Cleveland Browns out of every NFL team willing to take a gamble that their rookie quarterback will bail them out if that becomes the case?
It’s a hypothetical question but you look around the league and see rookies Sam Darnold and Josh Allen earning first-team reps with their respective teams. Jackson had previously stated Mayfield needed to have chemistry with “all the guys” after he threw with the second team for the first time in June.
“Now you’re throwing to probably a different group of receivers because I think he has to have that chemistry with all the guys.”
Clearly, that is not the case after Jackson reinforced Mayfield would not be getting any first team reps in training camp on Monday.
#Browns Hue Jackson on whether Baker will get any reps with the 1s in training camp: “No. No. No. And I’ll tell you why. We are learning a new system and I think Tyrod needs every rep with the 1s”
— Keith Britton (@KeithBritton86) August 20, 2018
Whether Mayfield has shown enough to warrant any time with the first team based on his play or experience is not the point. The NFL is a business in which, as unfortunate as it is, injuries occur frequently. The Cleveland Browns must have one other quarterback at least somewhat accommodated with the first team. It’s reckless to not give your #1 overall pick and Heisman trophy winner, who has flashed qualities of greatness already, any reps to stick to a plan decided in April.
Tyrod Taylor should be the starter for the Cleveland Browns. Baker Mayfield, though, deserves a chance to get familiar with the first team offense at the very least. If Hue Jackson and company do not want a quarterback controversy, they’re going about it the wrong way.