Baker Mayfield has requested a trade from the Browns, telling ESPN’s Adam Schefter that it is “in the best interests of both sides” for Cleveland to split with the star quarterback.
“It’s in the mutual interest of both sides for us to move on,” Mayfield told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “The relationship is too far gone to mend. It’s in the best interests of both sides to move on.”
The Browns, however, have informed Mayfield’s camp they are “not accommodating his request,” a source told ESPN’s Jake Trotter.
Mayfield’s request comes on the same day that the Browns learned they were out of the running to acquire quarterback Deshaun Watson in a trade from the Houston Texans.
The Browns were one of four team to meet with Watson in the past week to gauge his interest in waiving his no-trade clause, but now face significant uncertainty at the quarterback position.
A source told Trotter earlier Thursday that the Browns, upon falling out of contention to acquire Watson, would prefer to move forward with Mayfield. But Mayfield’s request may force Cleveland to trade the former Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall draft pick.
Mayfield has strong interest in the Colts, who are in the market for a quarterback after trading Carson Wentz to the Commanders, and believes Indianapolis offers a good chance for him to win, a source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
As Cleveland officials were flying back from their meeting Tuesday night with Watson, Mayfield posted a statement on social media thanking the city of Cleveland and its fans “who truly embraced who I am.”
“With many uncertainties, here is where my head and heart is,” Mayfield wrote as an introduction to his message, which he addressed to Cleveland and posted to Instagram and Twitter.
A source told Trotter that Mayfield and his camp learned about the Browns’ meeting with Watson over social media.
Mayfield has endured a tumultuous tenure in Cleveland, where he played under four head coaches through his first three seasons in the league. But the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner led Cleveland to its first playoff victory in 26 years during the 2020 season and finished in the top 10 in the league in QBR.
Mayfield suffered a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder in Week 2 of this past season and struggled the rest of the way, finishing 27th in QBR as the Browns missed the playoffs and finished with a disappointing 8-9 record.
Mayfield, who underwent surgery to repair the labrum Jan. 19 and is expected to be fully cleared well before training camp, is entering the final year of his rookie deal, which will pay him $19 million in 2022.
ESPN’s Jake Trotter contributed to this report.