With the Cleveland Browns among the teams pursuing a trade for Deshaun Watson, quarterback Baker Mayfield addressed his uncertain status with the franchise. Mayfield wrote Tuesday night on social media that he has “no clue what happens next.”
Browns representatives were meeting Tuesday with Watson, the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback poised to be traded by the Houston Texans. The Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints met Monday with Watson, and the Atlanta Falcons potentially will have a meeting with him Wednesday.
With many uncertainties, here is where my head and heart is. pic.twitter.com/psipN96cmh— Baker Mayfield (@bakermayfield) March 16, 2022
The Browns’ interest in Watson signals that they are willing to move on from Mayfield. There had been trade speculation regarding Mayfield even before the Browns’ pursuit of Watson.
“I have no clue what happens next, which is the meaning behind the silence I have had during the duration of this process,” Mayfield said in his statement, in which he thanked the city of Cleveland. “I can only control what I can, which is trusting in God’s plan throughout this process. I have given this franchise everything I have. That is something I’ve always done at every stage, and at every level. And that will not change wherever I take my next snap.”
The Browns’ scheduled meeting Tuesday with Watson was confirmed by a person familiar with the situation.
The teams’ conversations with Watson have come with the permission of the Texans as they prepare to trade Watson, who did not play at all last season while facing allegations of sexual misconduct.
A Harris County, Tex., grand jury decided Friday not to charge Watson, 26, with a crime. That left several NFL teams willing to move forward in trade deliberations with the Texans and Watson, although he still faces civil lawsuits filed against him by women and a possible suspension by the NFL.
Watson has a no-trade clause in his contract that gives him substantial input in the process of choosing his next team.
The Browns’ entry to the trade deliberations was intriguing because they already have Mayfield, the No. 1 selection in the 2018 draft. Mayfield is coming off an injury-plagued season and is under contract for only one more season. He is set to make $18.858 million in 2022 under the fifth-year option exercised by the Browns in his original four-year rookie contract.
The Browns have not signed Mayfield to the sort of long-term deal that would have been expected by this point if they were firmly committed to him as their quarterback. It does not appear Mayfield would be included in a prospective trade with the Texans for Watson.
The Texans have been seeking three first-round draft picks and more — either established players or additional draft choices — in a Watson trade.
Representatives of the Falcons could meet Wednesday with Watson, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed. But that meeting was not firmly scheduled as of Tuesday. The Falcons have Matt Ryan at quarterback and could trade him to another quarterback-needy team if they’re able to land Watson.
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Jerry Brewer: “The Browns were prepared for initial turbulence, but they assumed they were getting Watson at the end of his troubles. Now his disgrace is their disaster.”
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