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Would Your Team Be Better Off With Baker Mayfield? LET’S FIND OUT!

CLEVELAND, OHIO - JANUARY 09: Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns looks on during warm-ups before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium on January 09, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

His Royal Whiteness Matt Ryan was traded to the Indianapolis this week, as the Colts continue their ongoing quest to win a championship using Other People’s Quarterbacks. Between Ryan, the Falcons signing Marcus Mariota, and the Saints re-signing Jameis Winston (AHAHAHAHA), the NFL quarterback market is now more or less closed. Every team either has its QB for 2022, or will draft one a month from now. The DJ has cut off the music, and there’s only one quarterback left standing, frantically searching around for a chair to sit in: Baker Mayfield.

I have long held the view that if you’re watching a quarterback and can’t decide if he’s good, he isn’t. Baker Mayfield is very much that sort of quarterback, alongside the likes of Ryan Tannehill, Tua Tagovailoa, and He Who Shall Not Be Named. But is every other NFL team really better off without him? Matt Ryan is a decade older than Mayfield and hasn’t had a winning season in five years. Carson Wentz is instantly the most despised player in any locker room he enters, and Washington just gave up draft picks—many of them!—to bring him aboard. The Saints just gave Winston a two-year deal because they failed in a bid to trade for a BETTER multi-accused sexual predator. I don’t think any of these quarterbacks are better than Baker Mayfield.

Because Mayfield has some considerable accomplishments to his resume that aren’t in the distant past. Since their revival in 1999, the Cleveland Browns have never won a division title. They watched the AFC Central drop a team in 2002, become the AFC North, and they STILL couldn’t win the goddamn thing. Mayfield, drafted first overall by the eventually fired John Dorsey, was brought in to fix all that. And to a certain extent, he succeeded. Just two seasons ago, he led the Browns to their best-ever record and their only playoff victory (in Pittsburgh, no less) during their existence as an expansion team. That’s some impressive shit, and it remains so.

Also, I find Mayfield terribly charming even if the people who work with him clearly do not. I loved Mayfield planting a flag on the turf at Ohio Stadium and causing newly minted Thursday Night Football color man Kirk Herbstreit to fill his diaper with rage. I loved Mayfield’s loosey-goosey press conference act. “When I woke up this morning, I was feeling pretty dangerous,” etc. I still love his Progressive ads. I really do. I stop fast forwarding the DVR to watch them. HE THINKS THE STADIUM IS HIS HOUSE LOL.

There’s still a chance Mayfield—who posted a goodbye message to Cleveland on all of his social media accounts, demanded a trade, and then watched his team trade the entire world for Deshaun Watson to take his job—can revive his career. According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, the Browns want a first-round pick from any team willing to take that risk. They’ll never get that pick, especially given that Mayfield is in the final year of his contract and has a cap hit well north of $30 million [CORRECTION: It’s $18.1 million. My apologies to Baker’s salary], and that he gets hurt a lot, and that he wasn’t crisp in 2021, and that he’s a pariah. And probably a Republican too. In fact, getting rid of Mayfield may prove incredibly tricky for the Browns.

But I still believe that, against all odds, this irascible dwarfman can be salvaged by the right franchise. Could YOUR team be that franchise? LET’S FIND OUT!

ARIZONA CARDINALS

Current starter: Kyler Murray, who wants a contract extension and, if this offseason has been any indication, may be a complete fucking loon. God I love watching him play, though. And here I thought all Sooner Heisman winners were TOTAL losers!

With Baker Mayfield: DOWNGRADE

ATLANTA FALCONS

Current starter: Marcus Mariota, who is the ghost of Tua Tagovailoa’s future. Mariota’s job is to keep the seat warm for exactly five weeks before a woefully unprepared rookie takes his job.

With Baker Mayfield: UPGRADE

BALTIMORE RAVENS

Current starter: Lamar Jackson, who’s pretty fucking spectacular when he isn’t hurt and/or indulging his insatiable COVID-19 habit.

With Baker Mayfield: DOWNGRADE

BUFFALO BILLS

Current starter: Impossible stud Josh Allen, who’s already established himself as the best playoff choker Buffalo has had since Jim Kelly.

With Baker Mayfield: DOWNGRADE

CAROLINA PANTHERS

Current starter: LOL I don’t even know. I guess it’s Sam Darnold at the moment. Whatever. So long as Urban Rhule is the coach here, they’re fucked hard and good.

With Baker Mayfield: UPGRADE

CHICAGO BEARS

Current starter: Justin Fields, who I believe will prove to be fucking terrible. That’s not homerism talking, either. The only team in my division that I truly hate is the Packers, which makes me kindred spirits with Bears fans. But I am amused the prospect of Chicago carefully building around Fields over the next two years only to realize that he’s Presentable Mitch Trubisky.

With Baker Mayfield: UPGRADE!

CINCINNATI BENGALS

Current starter: My son Joe Burrow, fresh off an AFC title. Also cooler than Baker, what with the cigar photo and so forth.

With Baker Mayfield: DOWNGRADE

CLEVELAND BROWNS

Current starter: Deshaun Watson, who’s a better quarterback than Mayfield and already more popular in Cleveland’s locker room than Mayfield ever was. And holy shit is that ever uncomfortable to ponder.

With Baker Mayfield: [winces] DOWNGRADE

DALLAS COWBOYS

Current starter: Dak Prescott, who has exactly as many career playoff victories as Mayfield does. Again, I am uncomfortable.

With Baker Mayfield: DOWNGRADE

DENVER BRONCOS

Current starter: Teacher’s pet Russell Wilson, who now shares Mayfield’s penchant for playing while WAY too hurt. But he’s Russell Wilson and Baker Mayfield is not.

With Baker Mayfield: DOWNGRADE

DETROIT LIONS

Current starter: Jared Goff, who went from NFC titlist to contractual millstone so fast, even he’s impressed by it.

With Baker Mayfield: UPGRADE

GREEN BAY PACKERS

Current starter: Newly single Aaron Rodgers, who’ll fuck your lady and then send her a package two weeks later that contains a miniature coffin with a note tucked away inside that says, “Welcome to the living dead; I have COVID!”

With Baker Mayfield: DOWNGRADE

HOUSTON TEXANS

Current starter: Davis Mills, who’s proven just effective enough to make you go from laughing at Houston to outright forgetting that they exist.

With Baker Mayfield: UPGRADE

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

Current starter: Matt Ryan, who’s old, expensive, and sucks. But hey, at least the Colts are taking in QBs that OTHER teams have ruined instead of ruining their own.

With Baker Mayfield: UPGRADE

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

Current starter: Trevor Lawrence, who gets exactly one year to prove that 2021 was entirely Urban Meyer’s fault. After that? Bust.

With Baker Mayfield: DOWNGRADE, [Lee Corso voice] but closer than the experts think

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

Current starter: Patrick Mahomes, whose family members are ALSO widely despised by the greater internet. So at least he and Baker have that in common.

With Baker Mayfield: DOWNGRADE

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS

Current starter: Derek Carr. Remember how I said that if you’re not sure a QB is good, he isn’t? Carr and his Batman eyes felt that.

With Baker Mayfield: DOWNGRADE

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

Current starter: Justin Herbert, who perpetually looks like he’s 15 years old. Terrible facial complexion. Obvious stud.

With Baker Mayfield: DOWNGRADE

LOS ANGELES RAMS

Current starter: Matthew Stafford, who enjoys a performative hobble off the field nearly as much as Baker does.

With Baker Mayfield: DOWNGRADE

MIAMI DOLPHINS

Current starter: Tua Tagovailoa. Or Teddy Bridgewater. How can you go wrong with either of them, really? This organization makes zero sense to me.

With Baker Mayfield: UPGRADE

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Current starter: No comment.

With Baker Mayfield: UPGRADE

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Current starter: Eminently loathe-able Mac Jones, who reminds me of every white Duke point guard I’ve ever watched. Took me roughly three months to admit Jones is worth a shit, and you better believe I retracted that proclamation the second Buffalo destroyed him two months after that.

With Baker Mayfield: A FACKIN’ UPGRADE

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Current starter: Jameis Winston, who turns the ball over just as often as Mayfield does, only NO ONE feels bad for him when he does it.

With Baker Mayfield: UPGRADE

NEW YORK GIANTS

Current starter: Daniel Jones, whose name now serves as its own punchline. Never draft a Jones at QB.

With Baker Mayfield: UPGRADE

NEW YORK JETS

Current starter: Zach Wilson. We all just saw what happened with Sam Darnold, yeah? OK now picture Darnold’s career, but even shorter.

With Baker Mayfield: UPGRADE

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Current starter: Jalen Hurts, who I like and who every Eagles fan despises. So out of character for them.

With Baker Mayfield: DOWNGRADE

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

Current starter: NOT BIG BEN OH THANK GOD HE’S GONE WHAT A COMPLETE PIECE OF SHIT I A SWEAR TO GOD IF THAT BLOATED FUCK UN-RETIRES I’LL DRIVE TO HIS HOUSE AND SWING A 3-WOOD RIGHT INTO HIS JIMMY.

Mitchell Trubisky sucks, though.

With Baker Mayfield: UPGRADE

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

Current starter: Jimmy Garoppolo, whose long-term potential is even harder to grasp than Mayfield’s. HOWEVAH, given that Garoppolo is already on the trading block and will be until someone gets hurt in training camp, I really have to put Trey Lance in this slot. And guess what?…

With Baker Mayfield: UPGRADE

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Current starter: Drew Lock. Let’s all enjoy this bit of levity for a moment:

With Baker Mayfield: UPGRADE

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Current starter: Tom Brady, who will retire and then un-retire every offseason for the next eight years, just to prove all the haters and doubters wrong.

With Baker Mayfield: DOWNGRADE

TENNESSEE TITANS

Current starter: Ryan Tannehill, who serves as the template for Mayfield’s potential career renaissance, but who also sucks. A fascinating paradox. Or, it would be if Tannehill played for a team America gave a shit about.

With Baker Mayfield: PUSH

WASHINGTON COMMANDERS

Current starter: Commander Carson! If you thought the only Dan Snyder would be the only NFL owner to welcome this sporadic dickhead with open arms, congratulations. You just won a free box of rotini.

With Baker Mayfield: UPGRADE

That leaves with us a final tally of 16 teams that would be better off with Baker Mayfield behind center, 15 teams that would not, and one team that would see no movement of any sort. That’s half the league that could use this little fucker! These findings are 100 percent accurate and un-debatable! Thank you for your time! #FreeBaker!