The Cleveland Browns and the former first overall pick have not had talks of substance about a possible contract extension.
At some point in time the Cleveland Browns and Baker Mayfield are going to have engage in discussions about a contract extension. That time does not appear to be imminent as Mary Kay Cabot is reporting that the two sides have not exchanged proposals as of this time.
Waiting could actually be a win-win for both sides. From the Browns perspective, they need more information to have a better idea of who Baker Mayfield is as a quarterback. While they probably have a pretty good idea at the moment, there is the possibility that Mayfield’s performance could fluctuate higher or lower than their current projection. Through one season it is pretty apparent that Kevin Stefanski played a huge factor in Mayfield’s performance. Waiting to determine if Stefanski or Mayfield is more responsible would be wise for Cleveland as the Browns do not want to end up in a situation like the Eagles and Rams did with Carson Wentz and Jared Goff.
For Baker Mayfield, this gives him the opportunity to prove that he is worthy of a mega-extension. Stringing together more good performances can only lead to a better deal for the former first overall pick. But again, it is about which party is more responsible for the offensive success, Mayfield or Stefanski. Up to this point it has clearly been Stefanski, but Mayfield can claim a larger portion of it by stepping up this season.
Upcoming contracts for Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson
This has been a common point brought up when discussing an extension, signing Baker Mayfield before Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson sign their new deals. The fact of the matter is their deals should have zero impact on what Mayfield gets. Allen is head and shoulders a better quarterback and Jackson is more integral to Baltimore’s offensive success. Given what has been seen from the three quarterbacks, Mayfield’s deal should pale in comparison to those signed by Allen and Jackson. That is unless Mayfield takes an unexpected leap forward this season, proving he is more a part of the offense than what he appears to be, and an extension is not signed until after said hypothetical season.
Extensions for other players on the Browns
There is one, possibly two players that should be the priority extension wise for Cleveland. Those players would be Denzel Ward and Nick Chubb. Ward is the second best defensive player on the team and plays a premium position. Chubb is one of the best running backs in the league and has put Cleveland in a difficult position.
Signing Ward to a deal should be a no-brainer. Cleveland needs to continue building their defensive foundation and a Ward extension would help accomplish that. Chubb on the other hand is a more nuanced conversation. Paying running backs has not proven to be a good idea and the Browns front office may not be inclined to go down a non-analytically friendly path. That is unless the two sides can agree to a deal similar to Derrick Henry’s with the Titans. Tennessee has an out after two years with only $6 million in dead money, making the extension quite team friendly. Considering at this point that Henry is the better back, a similar deal for Chubb and the Browns is hard to argue against.