GATES MILLS, Ohio — As the start of Training Camp approaches, Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns have yet to agree to a contract extension.
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But if the fourth-year quarterback is concerned about his long-term future with the franchise, he isn't letting on.
Speaking to reporters at his annual youth camp at the Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills, Ohio, on Wednesday, Mayfield was asked about the possibility -- if not likelihood -- that he'll enter the start of camp without a long-term extension. And as he has since the start of the offseason, when he first became eligible for an extension, the No. 1 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft stressed that he is more focused on the Browns' 2021 season than he is his own contract status.
"I genuinely do mean that I'm about winning and I think everything will play itself out," Mayfield said. "I'm not worried about it at all because if we win, we're heading in the right direction."
Mayfield's comments echo the sentiment he shared earlier this year when he said that he was willing to bet on himself rather than commit to a long-term contract. While the 26-year-old is eligible to sign an extension now, he's still under contract in Cleveland through the 2022 season after the Browns' picked up the fifth-year option on his rookie deal.
Waiting until next offseason to sign a long-term deal could prove beneficial to both Mayfield and Cleveland. For Mayfield, another step forward after a strong 2020 season would put him in line for an even bigger deal than the one he could find himself signing this offseason. For the Browns, another strong season from the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner would only give them more confidence in signing him to a franchise quarterback-type of contract.
As for what a potential contract extension for Mayfield might look like, Spotrac.com projects his market value to be a four-year, $141 million contract, which would make him the fourth highest-paid quarterback in the NFL. It's worth noting that fellow 2018 draftees Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills and Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens are also eligible for contract extensions and projected to sign larger deals than Mayfield.
Should Mayfield wait until next offseason to sign a deal, however, that could change.
"I've bet on myself my whole life," Mayfield said at the Browns' mandatory minicamp in June. "I've always taken it one day at a time, one play at a time. Like I said, I'm not going to handle it any differently now."