Joe Thomas: Baker Mayfield overplayed his hand with his letter, trade request

The Cleveland Browns are moving forward with Deshaun Watson as their starting quarterback of the future. Jacoby Brissett was officially signed on Friday to provide depth and a potential starter should Watson get suspended.

The word potential is important in the last sentence because, currently, Baker Mayfield is still on the team’s roster. If by some strange occurrence that is still true by Week 1, it could be Mayfield starting during a Watson suspension.

This offseason has been a difficult one for the former top overall pick. Mayfield underwent surgery on the shoulder injury that plagued much of the 2021 season. Cleveland’s front office reiterated hopes that he would bounce back, told his agents they’d only seek a clear upgrade at the position and then found out the team was pursuing Watson.

After Watson reportedly informed the team that they were out of the race for his services, Mayfield requested a trade. Specifically, Mayfield wanted to go to Indianapolis. That is where Browns legend Joe Thomas thinks Mayfield made a mistake:

Thomas’ logic is solid. Cleveland was going to move forward with Mayfield at that time, with Watson seemingly headed to New Orleans and Atlanta. Near the end of his comments, Thomas hit the nail on the head:

“Thinking that he was perceived as a franchise quarterback in the NFL and that he could kind of dictate the terms of where he was gonna be traded.”

Unfortunately for both Mayfield and the Browns, not only does that end up inaccurate but his letter to the fans of Cleveland and his trade request seems to have sunk his overall value as well.

Joe Thomas thinks Mayfield got “sensitive” then overplayed his hand. If the quarterback had stayed quiet and focused on what he could control, perhaps he wouldn’t be facing the NFL’s version of musical chairs right now.