Baker Mayfield Rumors: Browns Reinforced Plan to Keep QB as Starter for 2022 Season

Doric SamMarch 3, 2022

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) warms up before an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Monday, Jan. 3, 2022, in Pittsburgh. Browns general manager Andrew Berry said Tuesday, Jan. 11 the team expects Mayfield to return as its starter next season and rebound after an injury-filled 2021 that raised questions about his future with Cleveland.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has faced speculation of a murky future with the team, but that can all be put to rest.

Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot reported Thursday that the Browns met with Mayfield's representatives and "reinforced" plans for him to remain the starting quarterback for the 2022 season and not replace him with a veteran signal caller.

This will be a prove-it year for the 2018 No. 1 overall pick to show that he's the Browns' long-term answer at quarterback. Mayfield has not received a contract extension from Cleveland and will play the 2022 season on his fifth-year option, which is worth $18.86 million.

Mayfield is recovering from surgery in January to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. He is reportedly ahead of schedule in his rehab, as Cabot reported earlier this week that "doctors are encouraged by his excellent progress." He was initially given a timetable of 4-6 months for his recovery, but it looks like he will be ready to go before that.

"Mayfield had to work so hard to strengthen the muscles in his left shoulder during the season that he was ahead of the game in his rehab," Cabot wrote. "The fact that it's his non-throwing shoulder also means his natural motion won't be enormously impacted."

The 26-year-old is coming off a down year in 2021. He attempted to play through his injury for much of the season, and he finished with career lows in passing yards (3,010), touchdowns (17) and passer rating (83.1).

If he is able to return to full health in the upcoming season, Mayfield will set out to either prove to the Browns that he deserves an extension or show another team that he can lead them to success.