Baker Mayfield Speaks Out For the First Time About Losing Starting Job

by Sean Griffin
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Baker Mayfield is trying to stay positive after losing his starting job as quarterback of the Carolina Panthers to PJ Walker. Mayfield spoke to the media recently after the news was released that Walker would be named starter versus the Falcons. Whether Mayfield heals from his ankle injury soon, he’s no longer QB1 for the time being, according to reports.

Baker Mayfield will be watching the game from the bench, but he’s not trying to get too down about the situation.

“It’s one of those things. It’s one of those new things. You just have to roll with the punches. It’s not my plan, obviously. I’m a competitor, but I’m rolling with the punches to help this team out in any way I can,” Mayfield told the media about his depth chart drop, according to ESPN.

The former first overall pick talked about his outlook. “I came here to win. If it’s my role to help PJ out from the sideline and help this defense out with scout team stuff, I’m gonna do it. And I’m gonna do it with everything I can.”

Mayfield’s benching in favor of PJ Walker doesn’t come as much of a surprise, since the offense has been anemic with Mayfield at the helm.

Baker has thrown for 962 yards, four touchdowns, and four interceptions so far this year. He’s completed less than 55% of his passes. Mayfield hasn’t been dynamic enough as a quarterback to lead the Panthers to a greater offensive output.

Baker Mayfield Replaced by PJ Walker For Now

However, on the other hand, PJ Walker has played adequately in limited action. In a surprising 21-3 win over the Buccaneers, Walker completed 72.7% of his passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns. The Panthers have decided to roll with Walker—the hot hand—in their next divisional matchup.

However, Baker Mayfield could return to the lineup as a starting quarterback. If Walker’s play falters, the Panthers may turn to Mayfield once more. It seems likely that Mayfield will be back in the lineup at some point, although Walker will look to make the most of his opportunities.

However, for now, Mayfield will have to get comfortable from the sidelines.

Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma before being selected first overall in the 2018 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns.

Mayfield set the rookie quarterback record for passing touchdowns. He also ended a 19-game winless streak for the Browns in his debut. His most successful season was in 2020 when he led the Browns to their first playoff appearance since 2002 and first playoff victory since 1994. However, due to inconsistent play and conflict with Browns management, Mayfield was traded to the Panthers in 2022.