The time has come for Cleveland to bench the former first overall pick.
If there is one thing that we have learned this season it is that Baker Mayfield is not the quarterback many expected him to be coming out of the draft. Mayfield’s poor performance is not the result of poor coaching and offensive schemes. It is the result of Mayfield not being a good quarterback.
Even at his best this season Baker Mayfield was rather pedestrian. In the four wins the third year quarterback completed 63.7% of his passes for 787 yards, 8 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions. This is an average of 196.8 yards per game through the air, hardly the numbers expected of a franchise quarterback. His success was the result of a productive rushing attack and he was able to play at a level that resulted in Browns victories. Cleveland won with Mayfield and not because of him, the difference between the two is important to take not of. The issue at hand is the poor performance in the two losses. Mayfield was 31-57 (54.4%) for 308 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions. Mayfield was also sacked 6 times, that is one more than the previous four games combined.
An argument can be made that Cleveland needs to figure out just what Baker Mayfield is. Well, we already know what he is and it is not a franchise quarterback. This offensive system combined with the skill players around him put Mayfield in the bests position to succeed. Right now it is abundantly clear that he is not succeeding and he never will. By benching Baker now the team will be able to properly evaluate the rest of the roster and how they should proceed moving forward. There are still plenty of unknowns on this team and continuing to play Baker Mayfield does not provide any answers.