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BEREA, Ohio – The Cleveland Browns have apologized to quarterback Baker Mayfield for joining the team’s mandatory mini-camp next week.
The team said Wednesday it was a “mutual decision and best for both parties.”
Mayfield has been away from the Browns since Cleveland replaced him with Deshaun Watson as their starter in a trade with the Houston Texans in March.
Mayfield has been in his hometown of Austin, Texas, to rehabilitate after an off-season surgery that repaired a torn labrum in his left, non-throwing shoulder.
So far in the offseason, Cleveland has not been successful in dealing with the former No. 1 overall pick. The Browns discussed a Mayfield deal with the Carolina Panthers during the NFL Draft, but never came close to a deal, according to several sources. The Panthers instead named Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral.
Mayfield is set to earn nearly $ 19 million in guaranteed money for the 2022 season. While organized team activities are voluntary, the mini-camp throughout the squad is one part of the offseason program that is mandatory for all players. Those who do not show up without apology are subject to fines.
Watson is facing lawsuits from 24 women who have accused him of inappropriate sexual behavior during massage sessions. Although two major juries in Texas declined to pursue criminal charges against Watson earlier this year, the NFL is investigating whether he violated the league’s code of conduct and interviewed the quarterback in person last month as part of the investigation. At the league’s spring meeting, Commissioner Roger Goodell said he thought the NFL was nearing the end of its investigation, but he could not provide a timeline for when a decision could be made. Watson has denied any wrongdoing.
Earlier this offseason, the Browns signed Jacoby Brissett as their backup quarterback.
Mayfield quarterbacked the Browns to their first playoff victory in 18 years back in 2020, but he had a hard time last season. Cleveland finished 8-9 and missed the offseason.
Cleveland’s minicamp is set for 14-16. June.