Steve Smith gave Baker Mayfield a verbal smackdown on Wednesday after the Browns quarterback shared a cryptic note amid “uncertainties” about his future in Cleveland.
While discussing the former first-overall pick on NFL Network, Smith said he, like Mayfield, wore his emotions on his sleeve during his 16-season career. That’s where the similarities between the two appear to stop, according to Smith.
“The difference between Baker and I is, I won a triple crown. I led the league in something besides crying,” the former All-Pro receiver said.
Later on, Smith added, “At the end of the day, call me Captain Petty. Get him out of there and let the Browns go ahead and eat because he’s been holding this team back. Thank you, Baker, because you got [Odell Beckham Jr.] at Super Bowl. Hats off to you.”
Smith, of course, was referring to Beckham’s breakup with the Browns last November.
At the time, the receiver’s father accused the Browns quarterback of not targeting his son in a number of games last season. Mayfield, meanwhile, brushed off speculation that he and Beckham had issues.
Beckham wound up being released by the Browns and signed with the Rams nearly a week later. He went on to win his first Super Bowl in February, when the Rams defeated the Bengals, 23-20. During the big game, however, Beckham suffered a torn ACL and later underwent surgery before the birth of his first child.
Wednesday wasn’t the first time Smith laid into Mayfield. The former Panthers star previously called out the quarterback amid Beckham’s exit from Cleveland.
“You’re average,” Smith said of Mayfield last November. “You’re not very good and Odell [Beckham Jr.] is moving on because of you bro. Bottom line.”
Mayfield’s apparent farewell note came after the Browns met with estranged Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson on Tuesday. As of Thursday, Cleveland is out of the running in acquiring Watson’s services, according to multiple reports.
The Browns, however, “still view” Mayfield as their quarterback going forward, according to NFL Networkbut told his agents at this month’s NFL combine “they’d only explore top-tier QBs such as Watson.”
Regardless, the Browns and Mayfield have apparently reached a point of no return, as ESPN reported Wednesday how the team wants “an adult” at the quarterback position.
Mayfield played through multiple injuries last season and underwent surgery in January on a torn labrum in his left non-throwing shoulder.
The Oklahoma product, whom the Browns selected with the top pick in 2018, has thrown for 14,125 yards, 92 touchdowns, and 56 interceptions over four years.