"I don't get why people have a problem with football being a competitive sport," Mayfield said to reporters Wednesday, per ESPN.com's Pat McManamon. "You're supposed to play with emotion, you're supposed to play with passion. Quite honestly, if you don't like it, whatever. Football's not meant to be a soft game. Could care less."
After completing a 66-yard pass to tight end David Njoku late in the fourth quarter against Cincinnati, Mayfield ran by the Bengals sideline and had a long glance at Jackson, who joined the Bengals shortly after being fired by the Browns.
Mayfield deflected a question about the moment after the game.
"No idea what you're talking about," he told reporters.
This isn't the first time one of Jackson's former Browns players has clowned him during a game. Safety Damarious Randall handed the game ball to Jackson after intercepting an Andy Dalton pass in Cleveland's Week 12 win over the Bengals.
Following that victory, Mayfield basically brushed off Jackson during the traditional postgame handshakes.
Mayfield didn't hide his feelings toward Jackson, saying he was upset the coach joined one of the Browns' division rivals so quickly after his exit from Cleveland.
This wasn't out of character for Mayfield. He famously "planted" an Oklahoma flag at midfield of Ohio Stadium after the Sooners defeated Ohio State in September 2017, and he received a two-play suspension for making obscene gestures toward the Kansas sideline.
The No. 1 overall draft pick shouldn't stop now. His unapologetic swagger is perfect for a franchise that has been a doormat for so long but appears destined to turn a corner in 2019.