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Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski hoping for 'closure' in Baker Mayfield situation

Appearing at the NFL's Owners Meetings, Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski discussed the status of quarterback Baker Mayfield.

CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from a previous story.

On Friday, the Cleveland Browns officially introduced Deshaun Watson as their new starting quarterback. But as the Browns move toward a new era with Watson under center, the reality remains that their now-former quarterback, Baker Mayfield, remains under contract.

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While the bulk of Watson's introductory press conference was understandably spent discussing the allegations that have been made against him regarding sexual misconduct, Monday's NFL owners' meetings in Palm Beach, Florida provided reporters with the opportunity to ask Cleveland head coach Kevin Stefanski about Mayfield's status with the team.

In responding to a question about Mayfield, the 2020 NFL Coach of the Year didn't reveal much, other than to say he's hopeful that the two sides reach a conclusion soon.

"I think we'll see," Stefanski said. "I think everybody understands the situation. We're hoping that there's closure to it at some point."

Stefanski's comments come amid an offseason that has seen Cleveland's relationship with the No. 1 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft seemingly deteriorate. Despite publicly committing to Mayfield as the Browns' starting quarterback in 2022 as recently as the NFL Scouting Combine, Cleveland publicly pursued Watson, who had requested a trade from the Houston Texans and had the ability to pick his destination via a no-trade clause.

But even before the Browns landed Watson in a blockbuster trade, Mayfield had posted an apparent farewell to Cleveland on social media before ultimately requesting a trade. While the Browns initially denied the Oklahoma product's request, landing Watson has changed the team's plans, with Cleveland now actively shopping Mayfield, who underwent shoulder surgery in January.

Finding a deal, however, has proven easier said than done. 

With only a few teams looking for a quarterback and Mayfield owed a fully guaranteed salary of $18.8 million in 2022, the market for the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner has been limited. At this point, there's plenty of uncertainty surrounding Mayfield's NFL future -- other than that it will be somewhere other than Cleveland.

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