Why Baker Mayfield shows hypocrisy in the NFL and many of its fans.
Baker Mayfield has been a topic of nearly every sports show on every channel in the past few weeks, stemming from a blockbuster trade that brought a vastly superior Quarterback in to replace the struggling former first round pick.
Before the trade, Mayfield had rumors circulating about potential trades and about a rift within the organization. It all came to light when the Browns traded their future away for DeShaun Watson and gave him $230 million fully guaranteed. Baker has become vocal about wanting to being traded, and has stated he “felt disrespected” by the Browns organization.
Recently, former Browns players have came out and said they wouldn’t want Baker on their team, and are sharing information with players on other teams with phrases used such as “not a leader”, “”bad locker room presence”. Robbie Anderson responded to a fan tweet about Baker Mayfield moving to the struggling Carolina Panthers and he responded “Nooooo.” There is no information held sacred from within locker rooms for long in the NFL, as we remember how Pittsburgh players outed Antonio Brown as a locker room distraction in the 2019 NFL offseason.
Baker isn’t well liked by teammates and it’s because of his arrogance and attitude. He is a selfish player who points fingers and makes excuses for his terrible play. Without that great Browns defense and run game, the Browns wouldn’t have won more than a handful of games the past few years. But let’s look at why Baker is as bad as this article says.
61.5% career accuracy. He had a 60.5% accuracy in the 2021 season, good for 27th overall, 24th overall for starting Quarterbacks. That puts him in the bottom 8 in accuracy. His inability to hit receivers in route frustrated fans and players alike, with the OBJ situation shedding light to a bias that makes up for bad QBs in trying to blame receivers.
Touchdowns to Turnovers. Baker has only one season in which he didn’t throw 50% touchdown to interception ration and that was in 2020. In 2021, he threw 17 touchdowns to 14 interceptions, a 76% td/int rate. He also had 6 fumbles, losing 3, but was sacked 43 times last year, so that’s expected.
29-30 as a starter. Only one season winning over 6 games.
Bad throws. 18.75% of all his pass attempts are bad throws. 20.9% of his throws in 2021 were bad throws. But let’s blame OBJ and Landry. He was third in the league in bad throws, only better than 2 rookies on bad offenses (Wilson and Fields; Trevor Lawrence was better than Baker).
4th Quarter Dud. Baker has 6 4th quarter comebacks and 7 career game winning drives. None last season whatsoever. Since 1999, Mayfield ranks 101st of all QBs to play in that time frame in crunch time drives which is less than 10 minutes, trailing by up to 16 points. This puts him under David Carr and just above Geno Smith. What a stud!
Down Field Disaster. Baker is horrible at completing downfield passes over 20 yards.
At one point last season, Baker had a 25% completion percentage on throws further than 20 air yards. This was out of 30 attempts. His inability to hit downfield targets ties into his inability to win games or bring the Browns back when losing.
But let’s get to his true problems. Mental processing, pocket awareness, and throwing mechanics. Baker is a pocket QB, averaging 5 yards per scramble to avoid pressure. He has to breakdown plays fast and make the right decision. He is now a 5th year player who has regressed to a point that no team wants them as their starting QB.
He will be a quality backup. He may be a bridge QB or a fill in when someone gets injured. But he’s a bottom shelf NFL QB and he has to read the room. Instead, Rich Eisen and Skip Bayless make excuses for him or bring up his rookie year, in 2018. When AB, Terrell Owens, Leveon Bell, or Keyshawn Johnson publicly shared how they felt disrespected or were outed as a locker room distraction, they were crucified by media. TO has the second best stats for a receiver in NFL history at most categories and was disrespected by sports writers who vote on Hall of Fam entry for years before finally making it in. When a receiver or back or DB wants a new contract, they are called divas, and crybabies. They are told to be happy with what they have and not go public about their team. When it’s a QB, it’s open season on teammates (Big Ben and Aaron Rodgers) or the team and it’s totally fine. When Leveon Bell wanted a new contract from the Steelers, he was RB1 or 2 in the league, not a bottom 8 starter like Mayfield.
Bottom line is Mayfield is mediocre on and off the field, and making excuses for him is hypocritical and wrong.