BEREA, Ohio — General manager Andrew Berry said Tuesday that the Cleveland Browns “fully expect” Baker Mayfield to be their starting quarterback in 2022 and “bounce back” after struggling through an injury-plagued season.
“It’s easy to forget at this point of the year what we’ve seen with Baker over the past several years,” Berry said. “We’ve been with Baker for a long period — we know his work ethic, we know his drive, we’ve seen him [be] a talented passer in this league, and we’re looking forward to him getting healthy and continue to make improvements.”
Mayfield finished 27th in the league in QBR (35.3, scale of 0 to 100) this past season, as the Browns finished with an 8-9 record and failed to make the playoffs.
Mayfield played through a torn labrum in his left, non-throwing shoulder that he suffered in Week 2, an injury that also forced him to wear a harness to keep the shoulder in place. He finished the year completing just 60.5% of his passes for 3,010 yards and 17 touchdowns, with 13 interceptions.
Berry, however, was quick to point out that Mayfield just last season quarterbacked the Browns to their first playoff victory in 26 years, while thriving in coach Kevin Stefanski’s system. Mayfield finished the 2020 season ranked 10th in the league in QBR (65.5)
“We’re looking forward to Baker getting healthy in the offseason,” Berry said, “and then putting in good work through the spring and with his coaches for having the type of season that we know he can have.”
Mayfield is scheduled to have surgery to repair the labrum on Jan. 19, with the hope that he will be back in time to participate in organized team activities, which typically begin in late May. He will be entering 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 offseason. 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 truly wants what’s best for the team and really to take the steps he needs to improve to become the quarterback that we know that he can become.”