OPINION: Mayfield needs to drop his “college” attitude

Dante Centofanti NEW Headshot

Dante Centofanti

Rookie Baker Mayfield is the 30th member of a long-mediocre club in the National Football League that has been in existence since 1999 as the starting quarterback of the Cleveland Browns.

Ever since Baker took that first snap on Thursday Night Football, he has been the personification of what it means to be a god in the city of Cleveland. Browns fans, and particularly Browns fans of my generation, have known nothing but boring, uncreative, broken promises all our lives while rooting for this team.

Baker has done nothing but bring excitement to this team in a season where he was not expected to start at all. He has been a jewel with how he plays, acts and dresses. He has put doubters, including myself, who thought he was too big of a risk to be the savior of this god-awful problem, in their place.

Everything this man has done has been golden. He has beaten division rivals Baltimore and Cincinnati. He had the Browns winning by multiple touchdowns against a perennial playoff contender and former NFC Champion, the Atlanta Falcons. He has passed for 2,242 yards and has thrown 17 touchdowns in nine games and eight starts. And don’t get me going on his quarterback rating — a whopping 93.2. But his biggest accomplishment of all? Giving Browns fans hope for a bright long-term future.

Look, I did not want Baker Mayfield to be drafted by this team. I thought his game would not translate to the NFL and his college mouth was going to distract this team. Instead, he has led this team through adversity and, along with new GM John Dorsey, has added creativity and spirit in Berea.

I have not said a negative thing about Baker this whole season because I have had zero reason to. But there is one prime reason I didn’t want him here: He’s acting childish and ungrateful. His words directed at former Browns coach Hue Jackson in his post-game interview following the Browns’ win against the Bengals crossed a line.

Although it is understandable why Mayfield would be upset or irritated, Jackson took him in and was patient with him when a lot of people in the league were skeptical. And then Mayfield has the audacity to criticize him for going to another team when it was possible he would never coach in the league again.

In the process of this, he’s done what starting quarterbacks in the NFL should never do: respond to to critics on social media. Legendary quarterbacks like Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning would never subject themselves to respond to criticism from the media, especially in an Instagram comment section. I admit I was wrong about Baker Mayfield as an asset to the team. But the bottom line is that even though the Browns have a great thing here with a great talent, Mayfield needs to stop this college-like attitude now. Because at the end of the day, it is a bad look for number 30.

Dante Centofanti is a columnist. Contact him at [email protected]