Browns Rumors: Baker Mayfield Was 'Losing Faith' in Kevin Stefanski Last Season

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVMay 5, 2022

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 03: Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) looks on during the game against the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers on January 03, 2022 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns are ready to move on from Baker Mayfield, and the quarterback reportedly also reached a breaking point with the coaching staff last season.

According to ESPN's Jake Trotter, Mayfield soured on head coach Kevin Stefanski after a Week 16 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

"As Mayfield was losing confidence in himself, he had also begun losing faith in Stefanski, according to multiple sources, even though the two had thrived the year before during Cleveland's unexpected playoff run," Trotter reported.

Mayfield threw four interceptions in the 24-22 defeat on Christmas Day.

The 27-year-old had been dealing with an injury to his non-throwing shoulder but remained on the field for the ensuing game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football. Mayfield continued to struggle, finishing 16-of-38 with two touchdowns and two interceptions in the 26-14 loss.

He was also sacked nine times and criticized the team's strategy after the game for not giving rookie tackle James Hudson enough help against T.J. Watt.

According to Trotter, Mayfield "wondered at the time if the Browns were trying to make [him] look as hapless as possible in prime time."

He thrived in his first season under Stefanski, producing a 95.9 quarterback rating in 16 starts while leading the Browns to an 11-5 record and an eventual first-round playoff win. The second year wasn't nearly as bright, as he struggled to an 83.1 passer rating while the team went 6-8 in his starts.

His Total QBR also dropped from 65.5 to 35.1 from 2020 to 2021.

With the Browns openly seeking a replacement in the offseason, Mayfield eventually requested a trade.

"It's in the mutual interest of both sides for us to move on," Mayfield told ESPN's Adam Schefter. "The relationship is too far gone to mend. It's in the best interests of both sides to move on."

Cleveland later made a blockbuster trade for Deshaun Watson before adding backups Jacoby Brissett and Joshua Dobbs.

It surely signals the end of Mayfield's time with the Browns, which has been destined for months.