With Deshaun Watson facing potential NFL discipline pending a league investigation into if he violated the league's personal-conduct policy after being accused of sexual assault and misconduct during massage sessions, it's possible the Cleveland Browns could hang onto Baker Mayfield as insurance for a playoff-caliber roster.
Asked on Tuesday during his youth football camp if a reconciliation could be reached, Mayfield didn't scoff, but his answer was a clear indicator that he's preparing for the next stage of his career.
"I think for that to happen, there would have to be some reaching out, but we're ready to move on, I think, on both sides," he said, via Sooner Scoop.
Mayfield added: "I think it's pretty obvious the mutual decision on both sides is to move on. I'm thankful for my four years in Cleveland. There's a lot of ups and downs, and a ton of learning experiences that I'll forever keep with me. Teammates and friends and relationships that I'll have for a lifetime. Just flew in last night from East Lansing, Michigan, for Drew Stanton. He was my mentor, he was the quarterback in Cleveland when I got drafted. Just relationships like that that you're just so thankful for. The support staff in Cleveland, the people in Cleveland; it's a great sports town. I'm thankful for it. There's no resentment toward the city of Cleveland by any means."
The former No. 1 overall pick requested a trade earlier this offseason before the Browns traded for Watson. Since Cleveland's move to acquire the former Houston Texans QB, Mayfield's status has lingered in limbo.
Cleveland has had discussions with multiple clubs about potential Mayfield trades this offseason, including the Carolina Panthers, but the Browns have yet to find a taker. Most teams considering a trade for the QB would want the Browns to pay the bulk of Mayfield's guaranteed $18.858 million salary, which Cleveland has balked at up to this point.
Mayfield noted that he was frustrated by the slow process earlier this offseason, but he knows it's out of his hands.
"I think I got frustrated with it not happening before minicamp and all those things," he said. "But that's the stuff that's out of my control, and let those things happen and fall into place. So now just controlling what I can and enjoying this (youth football camp)."