Andrew Berry, Kevin Stefanski chose Baker Mayfield but may get a do over

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The Cleveland Browns are 6-5 with a chance to take control of the AFC North in their next two games. They also have a bye week in between to get as healthy as possible for the second game. That both of those games are against the Baltimore Ravens makes this the most important stretch of the 2021 season.

Win them both, a second straight playoff appearance seems likely.

Lose them both, the team continues to fall apart at the seams.

A split could create interest but, at 7-6, the road to the playoffs is much tougher without a clear tiebreaker advantage against the Ravens.

As it does in the NFL, the Browns chances come down to the head coach and quarterback. Looming over both is the general manager in charge of helping both of those be at their best.

For Andrew Berry and Kevin Stefanski, Baker Mayfield was an important part of why they took their jobs in Cleveland in the first place. Berry was a part of the front office that drafted Mayfield and Stefanski saw a chance to develop a young quarterback who had already proven he could play at the NFL level.

While Berry wasn’t in charge when Mayfield was drafted and Stefanski was still in Minnesota, both chose to tie their professional careers to the top overall pick from the 2018 NFL draft. They didn’t select Mayfield but they did choose him when taking over the Browns.

They also have a chance for a do-over given Mayfield’s contract status. They have real reason for concern that the quarterback was not able to take the next step in 2021 and couldn’t connect with a dynamic weapon like Odell Beckham Jr. Injuries play a huge part in that as well as Stefanski’s system and the organization’s inability to garner a good enough relationship with Beckham to make things work.

As is true for most things, the blame falls on more than just one person.

For Berry and Stefanski, this offseason could provide a chance for a do-over. The team could bring in a veteran free-agent quarterback, make a big trade for a big name starter or even look to the draft to find “their” quarterback of the future. Or, they could once again choose Mayfield either due to lack of other options or a firm belief in what he can be when healthy.

Berry and Stefanski chose Mayfield once, will they do it again or take a chance for a do-over? The next three weeks could decide both the story of the 2021 season and much much more for Cleveland.