CLEVELAND — Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has drawn criticism in media circles for his in-your-face attitude toward those not wearing the orange and brown, but while some question the maturity level of the second-year signal-caller, some of his NFL peers appreciate the passion.
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, the reigning Super Bowl Most Valuable Player, spoke with Bleacher Report recently and had high praise for Mayfield.
“By no means do I think I’m even closely as talented or as good as him, but I love Baker,” said Edelman, who converted to wide receiver after playing quarterback for two years at Kent State University. “Competitor, feisty. I couldn’t throw it like him. I used to run it better. I like him. He’s not afraid to get up in your grill.”
That continues an impressive week for Mayfield when it comes to garnering respect on the national scale, as he ranked tied for the ninth-best odds (25/1) to win the 2019 AP NFL Most Valuable Player Award by the Pro Football Super Book at the Westgate Las Vegas.
After taking over the first-team offense in the second quarter of a come-from-behind win over the New York Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland in Week 3, Mayfield completed 310 of his 486 attempts (63.8 percent) for 3,725 yards and 27 touchdowns against 14 interceptions.
Although Mayfield does not get official credit for the victory over the Jets because he came on in relief of an injured Tyrod Taylor, the first-year quarterback guided the Browns to seven wins and the greatest single-year turnaround in franchise history.
Individually, Mayfield set franchise records for the most passing touchdowns and yards by a rookie, and his 3,725 yards rank as the sixth-best single-season in team history, regardless of years of service. Additionally, Mayfield had three of the top five passing yards games by a rookie, as well as the fourth-most accurate season of any Browns quarterback ever.
With new Browns coach Freddie Kitchens calling the plays as the interim offensive coordinator during the second half of the 2018 season, Mayfield completed 180 of his 263 attempts (68.4 percent) for 2,254 yards and 19 touchdowns against eight interceptions.