CLEVELAND, Ohio – Browns general manager Andrew Berry has no regrets about not shutting down Baker Mayfield due to the torn labrum in his left shoulder and the subsequent fractured shoulder bone.
“[He was] medically cleared, the player feels good and can do whatever is asked and required of him in training, ”Berry said at his season-closing Zoom conference. “Baker was our starting quarterback. He was going to play if he was ready to go. I don’t think it’s more complicated than that.
Mayfield, however, indicated he was beaten more throughout the season than he was willing to admit, and eventually pulled out after being sacked nine times in the Week 17 loss 26 -14 against the Steelers. Case Keenum started Sunday’s 21-16 win over the Bengals in the season finale and won his second game of the season – mostly against Cincy’s saves. The Browns finished 8-9, their 20th losing season of 23 in the new era.
Mayfield, who tore the labrum in week 2 and fractured the bone in week 6, will undergo surgery on January 19 and hopes to launch by the end of April. He only missed one game with injury, the 17-14 victory over the Broncos in which Keenum scored 21 of 33 for 199 yards with a touchdown and a 90.3 rating. Overall, Keenum finished with three touchdowns, one INT and a 91.3 rating. He completed 65.3% of his passes and was sacked five times.
“Probably any season where you don’t hit your goals, you look back and take a look at everything,” Berry said. “We felt good about the information we had throughout the year and at hand. The reality is we all wish we and all of the team could perform better and make it to the playoffs this year. “
Mayfield has gone 6-8 this season, finishing 27th in the NFL with a score of 83.1, but Berry said “we expect Baker to be our starter and bounce back. He noted, however, that he would always do everything possible to improve the list.
“My job is to put together the best team possible and make sure we are able to compete consistently for the division, make the playoffs and ultimately win a championship,” said Berry. “This is something we will strive to do every year.”
Berry wants Clowney back
Berry has indicated he will try to re-sign Jadeveon Clowney, who finished with nine sacks, half a sack short of his career high in Houston. Clowney has completed Myles Garrett well, and Berry will be hoping the No.1 bookend will be back on the sidelines next season.
The problem is, Clowney played so well that he will be in demand on the open market and admitted after the Bengals game that he is hoping to make some money. Pro Football Focus estimates its market value at $ 15 million over one year.
“JD has had a really good season for us, has been very productive in the race and passing and a disruptive player,” said Berry. “He teamed up well with the other guys we had up front, obviously with Myles at the forefront. He had a good year. He did the things we envisioned when we signed him. Have a good season. Fits well for us. Over the next few weeks, we’ll see what the future holds with all of our guys on the roster.
Expect an extension
While the Browns will let Mayfield head to 2022 on his $ 18.858 million guaranteed option contract for the fifth year, they will likely be talking about a long-term extension with 2018 No.4 pick Denzel Ward, who has had his second Pro Bowl campaign. Ward clawed back his $ 13.294 million option last spring.
“Denzel has had a great year,” said Berry. “He made a number of really big plays for us at critical points in the season. Obviously we know he’s a local kid drafted and developed here. He’s had a very good season for us, so we’re happy with that. “
Ward’s market value is around $ 18.7 million a year, which would make him one of the highest-paid cornerbacks in the NFL.
Berry praises Landry, but no word on next season
Berry has not specifically indicated whether Jarvis Landry will be back for a fifth season at his cap of $ 16.55 million. But he congratulated him, as everyone else has.
“Everyone on this call knows how much respect we have for Jarvis Landry and really what he has meant to our team and our organization over the past few years,” said Berry. “He’s been a really productive player for us since the day we traded him, and he’s really been a key part of the evolution of the team and the organization over the last few years.”
Landry, 29, led the team with 52 catches for 570 yards, but caught just two touchdown passes in 12 games, including a 26-yard Keenum in the final.
Teller invites Wills Jr. to practice offseason
Wyatt Teller is a huge fan of second-year left tackle Jed Wills Jr., and has invited him to train with him during the offseason. Wills, who suffered a persistent ankle injury in Week 1, finished 56th best tackle in the league according to Pro Football Focus.
“Jed is a great player,” Teller said. “Jed just needs to work. He just needs to take care of it. And I love Jed, and like I said, I spoke to Jed on the sidelines. Jed is my dog. ”
Teller explained that Wills, the No.10 pick in 2020, struggled early in the season because he had to play injured.
“We lost our swing tackle (Chris Hubbard) in the first game,” Teller said. “So Jed really had no choice but to play and that’s really what you have to do. So it sucks. But Jed is a great player. He has to do it. He has to come out and play hard. That’s kind of where I was. I didn’t think I played as well as I could this year. I say, ‘Jed, don’t be afraid to call what the problems are. If something’s wrong, if your ankle hurts, tape this stuff up and push it off because at the end of the day everyone’s got to take care of it.
Teller, who signed his overtime this season, will do everything in his power to help Wills improve and urge him to come back to Cleveland in the offseason and “we’re going to go.”
He is convinced that Wills will rebound in 2022.
“Jed will be fine,” he said. “He just has to get to work. Realize that work is a good thing, right? Everyone wants to say that “the work is bad. I want to be on vacation. Well, the holidays would be pretty cool right now, but work is a good thing. So yeah, giving him that frame of mind would try to help them out a bit. ”
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