Carolina Panthers’ Baker Mayfield Shares Thoughts on Playing Cleveland Browns in Season Opener: ‘It’s Going to Be a Special One’

by Bryan Fyalkowski

The Baker MayfieldCleveland Browns Era ended last week when the former No. 1 overall pick was traded to the Carolina Panthers. Oddly enough, the Browns and Panthers face off in Week 1 of the 2022 season. Of all the NFL games on September 11, that one certainly is one of them.

Mayfield was on a Zoom call on Tuesday to speak with media for the first time since he was dealt.

“Obviously, it’s going to be a special one,” Mayfield said. “It’s going to be a home game and playing against a former team. A similar situation to what I’ve gone through in the past, transferring from Texas Tech to Oklahoma. I gotta handle it the best way possible and my job is to put our team in the best position to win.”

Is he in a better position to win in Carolina than he was in Cleveland? Only time will tell.

Baker Mayfield Joins Crowded Quarterback Room

In 2021, Carolina finished last in the NFC South with a 5-12 record, while Cleveland tied for fourth in the AFC North with an 8-9 mark. The Browns tried to upgrade from Mayfield this offseason by trading the farm for quarterback Deshaun Watson, but – as you may be aware – it is not going well. Meanwhile, the Panthers brought in Mayfield to join the quarterback room with Sam Darnold and rookie Matt Corral.

The incoming quarterback was asked about being on the same team as Darnold, who was taken No. 3 overall following Baker Mayfield and Saquon Barkley in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Panthers acquired Darnold from the New York Jets last year.

“I think when you’re in the NFL, nobody has the mentality of being a backup,” Mayfield explained. “We’re at this level because we compete to be the very best and that’s why Sam’s here as well … My intention is to become the best quarterback I can be and help this team win. That’s why I’m happy to be in Carolina.”

Mayfield said Darnold was one of the first Panthers to reach out to him after the trade. Nothing wrong with a little healthy competition.