Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield admitted Tuesday that his apology for planting Oklahoma's flag on Ohio State's midfield logo in 2017 was "absolutely not" sincere.
In an interview with Clay Skipper of GQ, Mayfield said his apology was a "zero" on a scale of 1-10 with regard to how heartfelt it was.
Mayfield said it was "jaw-dropping" when "higher-ups" at Oklahoma asked him to apologize for his actions following the Sooners' upset road win: "Actually we won. That's what we're about. I had done so much and worked so hard to play for that school, I was just kinda...almost embarrassed for them to tell me to apologize."
Oklahoma entered the game as the No. 5 team in the nation, while Ohio State was No. 2. Mayfield threw for 386 yards and three touchdowns in the 31-16 victory, which helped fuel his run to the Heisman Trophy.
Ironically, Mayfield now finds himself in the middle of the Ohio State hotbed in Cleveland, which he feels has likely cooled some of the hatred Buckeyes fans may have had for him.
"I think we're all good now," Mayfield said.
When Mayfield entered the draft in 2018, there was talk of character concerns. That primarily stemmed from an arrest for public intoxication, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and fleeing in 2017, but the Ohio State incident was a hot-button issue as well.
Even so, the Browns took Mayfield with the No. 1 overall pick, and that decision is already paying dividends.
Mayfield went 6-7 as a starter during his rookie season while completing 63.8 percent of his passes for 3,725 yards, 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Overall, the Browns went 7-8-1 after winning just four games in the previous three seasons combined.
With wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and running back Kareem Hunt joining an offense that already included Mayfield, running back Nick Chubb, wide receiver Jarvis Landry and tight end David Njoku, Cleveland could have one of the NFL's top offenses in 2019.
If Mayfield can help the Browns reach the playoffs for the first time since 2002, it is likely that all will be forgotten when it comes to the flag-planting incident of 2017.