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ESPN: Baker Mayfield Wasn't Seen as 'Difficult Teammate' During Time with Panthers

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVDecember 7, 2022

BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 20: Baker Mayfield #6 of the Carolina Panthers attempts a pass against the Baltimore Ravens during the first half at M&T Bank Stadium on November 20, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Despite speculation to the contrary, quarterback Baker Mayfield was reportedly a model teammate during his time with the Carolina Panthers.

According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, the Panthers felt Mayfield showed "great maturity" when he was demoted to the backup role behind PJ Walker and Sam Darnold and that he was not a "difficult teammate."

Furthermore, the Panthers reportedly believe Mayfield "accepted his role" and "didn't make any waves" despite the demotion.

Per ESPN's David Newton, Panthers head coach Steve Wilks said Monday that Mayfield requested his release and was granted it. The former Cleveland Browns signal-caller was subsequently claimed off waivers by the Los Angeles Rams.

The Cleveland Browns originally made Mayfield the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft, and while he had his moments, such as finishing second in the 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year voting and leading the Browns to the playoffs for the first time since 2002 in 2020, he ultimately flamed out.

Mayfield played with an injured non-throwing shoulder for much of the 2021 season, and he struggled to the tune of a 6-8 record, 3,010 passing yards, 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 14 games.

The Browns decided to move on from Mayfield, trading a bounty of draft picks to the Houston Texans for quarterback Deshaun Watson, despite the fact that Watson had been accused of sexual assault or misconduct by 25 female massage therapists.

That spelled the end of Mayfield's tenure in Cleveland, with Jason Lloyd of The Athletic later reporting that he was viewed as "childish and immature" within the Browns organization.

After missing out on other opportunities to upgrade the quarterback position, the Panthers acquired Mayfield from the Browns prior to the start of the 2022 regular season in hopes that he could take the reins from Darnold.

Mayfield was named the Browns starter for Week 1 and went on to make six starts overall, but he struggled mightily with a 1-5 record. He also completed just 57.8 percent of his passes for 1,313 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions for a Panthers team that fired head coach Matt Rhule.

The offense was so stagnant with Mayfield at the helm that the Panthers made the switch to an NFL journeyman and former XFL star in Walker until Darnold returned from injury.

L.A. could represent one of Mayfield's final NFL opportunities, particularly as a starter, provided he gets a chance to start down the stretch.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford is on injured reserve with a neck injury and presumed out for the remainder of the season, leaving the Rams with John Wolford and Bryce Perkins under center before they claimed Mayfield.

It has been a rough season for the Rams, but they are the reigning Super Bowl champions, and Mayfield could build up plenty of goodwill around the league with positive reports out of Los Angeles.