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BEREA, Ohio – General manager Andrew Berry reiterated on Wednesday that Baker Mayfield remains the Cleveland Browns’ starter and that he expects the quarterback to “play his best football” after the upcoming farewell week.
“Baker is our quarterback,” Berry said. “He is healthy enough to win matches for us. If he is ready to go, he will be our starter.”
Mayfield has struggled at times this season, while battling various injuries, including a torn labrum on his left shoulder that has not thrown up, since week 2. He is number 26 in the QBR with a rating of 37.9, a well below where he finished in 2020 (66.5).
The Browns (6-6) have only scored more than 17 points once since October 10th. Coach Kevin Stefanski said after a 16-10 loss to AFC North rival Baltimore Ravens that he would not consider a quarterback switch.
“We all know Baker is incredibly physically tough,” Berry said. “He’s had stretches where he’s played well.”
Mayfield, who was No. 1 overall in the draft in 2018, is under contract through the 2022 season after his fifth-year option was picked up by the team in the low season.
However, Mayfield is also eligible for an extension. Berry declined to talk about Mayfield’s contract status, but said any evaluation would not be based solely on his performance this season. Last year, the Mayfield Browns led to their first playoff victory in 26 years, while also finishing in the top 10 of the QBR.
“With Baker, from a long-term perspective, you’re trying to take a big picture,” Berry said. “With any player, it’s about work for several years. We’ve seen Baker play good football here and play good football this season.
“There will be plenty of time to think about how we are going to build the roster next year. Right now we are focused on doing everything in our power to maximize this current season.”