The minute the Cleveland Browns traded QB Baker Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers the storyline for Week 1 was set. “Mayfield’s revenge game” is an interesting topic of conversation. Had the quarterback that was brought into replace Mayfield, Deshaun Watson, been playing it would have had a lot more attention to it.
Instead, it will be Watson’s backup, Jacoby Brissett, taking snaps behind center for the first 11 games of the season. “Mayfield versus his replacement’s replacement” just doesn’t have the same ring to it as “Mayfield versus Watson.”
Every player on the Browns interviewed this week will asked about Mayfield. It really is the storyline this week despite all the incredible talent that will be on the field. The Panthers need Mayfield to help save the current regime while the Browns want to prove that they can win games with Brissett at the helm.
Cleveland’s starting quarterback for Week 1 was asked about the Mayfield storyline:
#Browns Jacoby Brissett on dealing with all the storylines surrounding facing Baker Mayfield this week: "I wasn't here with him last year so I don't care."
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) September 7, 2022
Clear, reasonable answer. Brissett also doesn’t play against Mayfield, he has to worry about Brian Burns and the Carolina defense. Brissett took it a step further noting his limited concern about outside noise:
#Browns QB Jacoby Brissett says he makes a point in not caring what people are saying on the outside when it comes to the noise and expectations of the team
— Baillie Burmaster (@bayburmTV) September 7, 2022
A lot of players say they don’t care or don’t pay attention to those outside stories and expectations but they aren’t all telling the truth. In the case of Brissett worrying about Mayfield, it is logical that he has no emotional connection since he wasn’t a teammate last year.
Other players that did play with Mayfield are likely to get the politically correct response. It is the smart thing to do as a professional which is what the Browns need most from their leaders.