When Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield made comments critical of teammate Duke Johnson last week during the team’s minicamp, it was easy to wonder how his words would go over with veterans on the roster.
We have an answer.
Last week, Mayfield was asked about Johnson, who has requested a trade. Johnson says the Browns tried to trade him earlier this year, and that combined with the team’s signing of Kareem Hunt and drafting of Nick Chubb in 2018 have led him to want a change of situation.
He sees the writing on the wall: he won’t get many touches, if any, once Hunt’s suspension ends.
Johnson was present for minicamp, and Mayfield was asked if it’s an awkward situation.
“It's not awkward. No. It's self-inflicted,” Mayfield said with a shrug. “It is what it is. That's not awkward for anybody else in this building.”
The follow-up question was, how do you support him as a teammate while he’s here?
“He's got to do his job. He said he's a professional, I hope he does his job,” Mayfield said.
Voiced their displeasure
Mike Silver of NFL Network reported on Thursday that several players approached Mayfield after his comments.
“It is rather striking for a player to get involved in a teammate's business in anything but a supportive role,” Silver said on the network. “Baker Mayfield is the clear leader of that [locker room] but I'm told by multiple sources that several veterans came up to him in the locker room after those comments about Duke Johnson and let's say voiced their displeasure, saying, ‘Listen it's one thing to be the leader but this is a guy who is going through something, it's business and we need to support him.’
“Baker may not have agreed with them, but he heard them.”
One of the Browns who approached Mayfield may have been receiver Jarvis Landry, who was supportive of Johnson.
“I still have a relationship with Duke,” he said. “I'm happy that he's here, it's good to see him, but outside of that, I hope it works out for us as the Browns and for him if that's the way that it goes. He's a tremendous talent and he's capable of making plays. I have no other say about what happens.”
His teammates weren’t the only ones to notice either. Hip-hop legend Luther Campbell, who is married to Johnson’s agent, Kristin Campbell, tweeted to Mayfield as well.
Luther Campbell told Mayfield that quarterbacks Brett Favre, Joe Montana, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Dan Marino were all traded or “told to go home.”
“Don’t ever turn on your teammates for management you are not exempt,” he wrote.
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