Baker Mayfield will likely be the Browns' starting quarterback for the 2022 season, but Cleveland will explore all options this offseason as it relates to rookie and veteran quarterbacks, according to Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot.
This isn't a surprise to Mayfield or his representatives, who are scheduled to meet with the Browns during the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Mayfield, who is currently slated to play under his fifth-year option for the 2022 season, has been working hard following January's surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left (non-throwing) shoulder. Mayfield is reportedly ahead of schedule and should be ready to go when the Browns begin training camp.
Cleveland is hoping to put Mayfield in a better position to succeed, assuming he continues to be its starting quarterback in 2022. The Browns are hoping to surround him with a better supporting cast at receiver after the team parted ways with Odell Beckham Jr. during the 2021 season. Cleveland will try to retain Mayfield's favorite receiver, veteran Jarvis Landry, if they can agree on a restructured contract for next season, per Cabot. The Browns have also promoted Drew Petzing from tight end to quarterbacks coach.
Like several other teams, the Browns will likely pursue veterans Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers in the event that either quarterback is available for trade. If that's not an option, the Browns will likely sign a less-heralded available veteran quarterback over the next two months. Possible options include Mitchell Trubisky, Teddy Bridgewater and Marcus Mariota.
There's also the possibility, albeit unlikely, that the Browns will draft a quarterback with the 13th overall pick. Currently, each of our four CBS Sports NFL Draft experts have the Browns using the pick to select former Arkansas receiver Treylon Burks, who caught 18 touchdowns during his last two years with the Razorbacks.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Mayfield's first four years in Cleveland could be described as a roller coaster ride. He enjoyed a successful rookie season that included throwing 27 touchdowns and leading the Browns to six more wins than they had the previous two years combined. His best season -- 2020 -- was sandwiched between two disappointing campaigns that includes last year's injury-marred season. Mayfield is surely looking to rebound in 2022, his last year under contract.