Baker Mayfield, Browns
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Browns are expected to bring QB Baker Mayfield back

The Browns plan to keep Baker Mayfield as the team’s starting quarterback next season, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero.

Mayfield, the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft in 2018, is entering the final year of his rookie contract. He is expected to play out the fifth year of his deal in Cleveland. It is unclear if Mayfield would then receive an extension, receive the franchise tag or enter free agency.

Mayfield was placed on injured reserve this week and will not play in Cleveland’s regular-season finale Sunday against the Bengals.

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This offseason, Mayfield will undergo surgery to repair the torn labrum in his non-throwing left shoulder. It’s an issue he’s been dealing with as a result of an injury in Week 2.

In mid-October, NFL Network reported Mayfield was expected to need shoulder surgery in the offseason, noting it was possible for him to hold off if he could deal with the pain.

“I’m an extremely competitive guy,” Mayfield after the Browns’ 26–14 loss to the Steelers in Week 17, per ESPN. “Now it’s time for me to start looking at what’s in the best interest of me and my health.”

 

Read: NFL Week 18 Reactions – Top 5 Storylines

 

In addition to the torn labrum, Mayfield has battled left foot soreness and a right knee contusion this season.

“I’ve continued to lay it out on the line when I haven’t been healthy and tried to fight for our guys,” Mayfield said. “Right now, I’m pretty damn beat up, to be honest with you. There’s no way around it.”

Mayfield, 26, has thrown for 3,010 yards in 2021, adding 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 14 games this year. The Browns enter Week 18 at 7–9, having taken a step back from their 11–5 record and divisional round loss to the Chiefs in 2020.

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