CLEVELAND, Ohio — Baker Mayfield’s ears perked up on Thursday when at least one site suggested that the Browns should consider trading for Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.
The Fansided site Dawg Pound Daily wrote an article saying that Watson would represent an upgrade, then tweeted it with the caption “The Cleveland #Browns need to think about Deshaun Watson.’’
Mayfield quote-tweeted it with the response, “Some of y’all “browns” are funny,’’ meaning “Browns fans.’’
Mayfield, who went 11-5 this season and lost to the Chiefs, 22-17 in the AFC divisional round, mostly stayed out of Twitter wars this season, but couldn’t help himself this time.
But he probably has nothing to worry about anyway.
The Browns are unlikely to pursue such a trade because they’re committed to Mayfield, and because the Texans have no plans to trade the three-time Pro Bowler despite the fact he stated he still wants to be dealt on Thursday, the day the team hired David Culley as its new head coach.
In a press conference on Friday, new GM Nick Caserio reiterated the club’s commitment to Watson, whom they traded up from No. 25 to No. 12 with the Browns in 2017 to draft.
“He’s had a great impact on this organization, a great impact on a lot of people, a great impact on this team,’’ Caserio said. “We look forward to the opportunity to spend more time with him here this spring once we get started.
“We have zero interest in trading the player. We have a great plan, a great vision for him and for this team and his role on our team. We look forward to the opportunity to spend more time with him here this spring.”
Watson, who reportedly wanted the Texans to interview former 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh before he was hired by the Jets, told the club that he wanted out regardless of who the new head coach was, according to multiple reports.
“The best way you handle relationships is to communicate, be honest and be forthright. We’re going to do that with everyone in this building,” added Caserio.
“There’s going to be player decisions we have to make, and we’ll take it one day at a time.”
Culley, the longtime disciple of Chiefs coach Andy Reid and the former Ravens assistant head coach, wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator in 2019-20, echoed those sentiments and sounded confident he can smooth the waters.
“Deshaun Watson is a Houston Texan,” he said. “That’s all I was concerned about and all I knew. Whatever’s been said about what he wanted to do, he’s a Houston Texan. I want him to be a Houston Texan. The reason I’m in this position today is because I knew he’s going to be a Houston Texan. The outside stuff that’s been said is irrelevant to me.
“The most important thing to me is figuring out what can I do after talking with (everyone).”
Meanwhile, the Browns have made it clear that Mayfield is their quarterback of the future without labeling him as their “franchise quarterback.’’
“He did an excellent job this year,’’ Browns GM Andrew Berry said after the season. “He led us to first playoff appearance in eons. We got 12 wins, played winning football all year developed a really strong relationship with Kevin [Stefanski] and the offensive staff and really, like I mentioned last week, he really thrives on a weekly basis both on and off the field. We’re very, very pleased with him.
“We wouldn’t be where we were at the end of the season without his performance. He had a really tremendous season.”
Next order of business for the Browns regarding Mayfield is to exercise his fifth-year option worth somewhere between $18 million and $21 million for 2022 by the May 3rd deadline. After that, they’ll determine if signing him to the long-term contract extension he’s eligible for this offseason is the right move, or if they’ll wait and see how some or all of next season goes.
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