Baker Mayfield spent his first four seasons playing for the Cleveland Browns as the starter.
However, all that changed this past offseason as the team chose to move in another direction by acquiring Deshaun Watson and then trading Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers.
The 2022 regular-season schedule has worked out for the Oklahoma product to get his first official action with the Panthers against his former team. The storylines are for Mayfield to get one back against the franchise that drafted him first overall in the 2018 NFL draft.
Despite that, he isn’t looking at the contest as more than what it is: one game.
“It’s a great storyline,” Mayfield said via ESPN. “Obviously, there’s history leading up to this week. [But] there’s other games in the NFL that guys are playing (against) their former team. It’s just the excitement of leading up to Week 1 that is building that anticipation up. It’s the familiarity.”
Mayfield may say that publicly, there is no doubt that Week 1 matchup is more than just another game. It’s a chance for him to show that the Browns made the mistake of moving with another quarterback.
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Mayfield has a fresh start in Carolina, where he can cement himself as the franchise cornerstone. It’s also an opportunity to prove that he’s worth a lucrative contract next offseason.
The 27-year-old will have every chance to make his mark as the Panthers’ clear-cut starter, especially with Sam Darnold sidelined for at least the first four weeks of the 2022 campaign.