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BEREA, Ohio – General manager Andrew Berry said Tuesday that the Cleveland Browns “fully expect” Baker Mayfield to be their starting quarterback in 2022 and “jump back” after battling an injury-plagued season.
“It’s easy to forget at this time of year what we’ve seen with Baker over the last many years,” Berry said. “We’ve been with Baker for a long time – we know his work ethic, we know his drive, we’ve seen him [be] a talented pass player in this league and we look forward to him recovering and continuing to make improvements. “
Mayfield finished in 27th place in the league in QBR (35.3, scale from 0 to 100) last season as the Browns finished with a record of 8-9 and did not reach the playoffs.
Mayfield played through a torn labrum in his left, non-throwing shoulder, which he sustained in Week 2, an injury that also forced him to wear a harness to hold the shoulder in place. He finished the year with just 60.5% of his passes completed in 3,010 yards and 17 touchdowns with 13 interceptions.
However, Berry was quick to point out that just last season, Mayfield quarterbacked the Browns to their first playoff win in 26 years while thriving in coach Kevin Stefanski’s system. Mayfield finished the 2020 season in 10th place in the league in QBR (65.5)
“We look forward to Baker getting healthy in the offseason,” Berry said, “and then doing a great job through the spring and with his coaches to have the type of season we know he can have.”
Mayfield is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair the labrum on Jan. 19, hoping he will be back in time to participate in organized team activities, which typically begin in late May. He enters the final year of his rookie contract, which will pay him close to $ 19 million in 2022, after the Browns exercised his fifth-year option last season. The Browns drafted Mayfield with the No. 1 pick in 2018.
“Baker, he’s team oriented, he’s a competitor, he’s super tough,” Berry said. “And he really wants the best for the team and really takes the steps he needs to improve to become the quarterback that we know he can become.”