Baker Mayfield Was A Victim Of ‘Circumstance And Environment’ In 2019, Browns’ GM Says

Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns is sacked by Sam Hubbard.
Andy Lyons / Getty Images

On Tuesday afternoon, the Cleveland Browns general manager and head coach told the media Baker Mayfield is expected to be better in 2020 than he was in 2019. One reason the team thinks their quarterback is bound to have a better season is because they have given him a new head coach, a new general manager, and an arsenal of new weapons to work with.

Andrew Berry talked about the team’s outlook for 2020 and — according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com — they are quite excited to see what Mayfield can do under Kevin Stefanski.

“We’re excited about the environment that we’ve created around that position and around that room in general, and we really do expect him to have a fantastic year. I know Kevin and the staff have done a really nice job with the virtual offseason so far, implementing a new system and we think that he’ll be able to thrive in it this season.”

Berry added that while Mayfield is undoubtedly responsible for his own mistakes, his performance likely slumped from his rookie season due in large part to “circumstance and environment,” two things that were out of the quarterback’s hands, Berry knows.

The GM said part of his job is to make sure a player like Mayfield has everything he needs to be successful. He added when he watched Browns’ game film last year, he didn’t see that environment present.

That environment consisted of the Browns’ dwindling optimism for the 2019 season as problems began to pop up — especially on the offensive side. Cabot pointed out there was quite a bit of friction on the team between head coach Freddie Kitchens, offensive coordinator Todd Monken, and some of the players.

Numerous times last year, wide receiver Jarvis Landry could be seen yelling at the coaching staff after an unfortunate offensive series. There were also reports of players — like Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. — talking to other teams and asking them to “come get them.”

Stefanski also believes Mayfield is going to see quite the turnaround in 2020. He told Cabot there are plenty of new pieces around the quarterback and an offense he thinks Mayfield can operate quite well. As Cabot wrote, if Mayfield doesn’t turn it around this year, something is wrong.

The quarterback burst onto the scene with 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in his rookie campaign. He fell back to earth in year two, throwing just 22 touchdowns and 21 interceptions, while completing under 60 percent of his passes.