Cleveland Browns starting quarterback Baker Mayfield is a handful of days away from beginning his fourth NFL season at the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday afternoon and apparently will do so without putting pen to paper on a long-term contract extension.
Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reports both Mayfield and the Browns are “cool” over the lack of “substantive extension talks” between the parties ahead of Week 1.
Back in late August, Brodie Waters predicted for ESPN that Mayfield could potentially sign a deal worth $206 million total that included $143 million guaranteed. MKC’s update suggests the 26-year-old wants even more:
“If all goes as planned and the offense is as explosive as expected, Mayfield will negotiate from a position of greater strength — likely during the season — and increase his chances of topping $40 million a year, which is the going rate for top QB extensions these days.
“Buffalo’s Josh Allen, the first extension domino to fall in the class of 2018 when he signed his last month, averaged $43 million-a-year — just $2 million shy of Patrick Mahomes’ league-leading average with the Chiefs. Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson, when he signs his extension, will be in the same ballpark, and might even top Allen.”
Jackson already has a Most Valuable Player award on his NFL resume, and Allen is among betting favorites to contend for the honor this season. Mayfield hasn’t yet reached such heights but guided the Browns to a playoff win at the Pittsburgh Steelers last January, and he’s due to earn $18.858 million from the fifth-year option of his rookie contract in 2022.
The confident Mayfield seems willing to bet on himself, and the Browns appear prepared to let him do just that through at least the midway point of September.