Panthers’ Baker Mayfield side steps Deshaun Watson question: ‘None of my business’
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Baker Mayfield was traded from the Cleveland Browns to the Carolina Panthers following Cleveland’s addition of Deshaun Watson in the offseason even with the threat of suspension hanging over the new quarterback’s head.
Watson was handed a six-game suspension Monday for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. The directive was issued by the former federal judge Sue L. Robinson who was appointed the disciplinary officer in the Watson case. The NFL has three days to determine whether it will appeal the suspension.
Mayfield was asked Monday at training camp about the Watson suspension but was not taking the bait, saying it was “none of my business.”
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“I’m paid to play quarterback and lead this team, not to make decisions on anything other than that,” he told reporters.
Mayfield was thrust into a battle for starting quarterback for Carolina when he was traded. He is looking to beat out Sam Darnold and rookie Matt Corral for the job.
The fifth-year quarterback said he appreciated the transparency from coaches in the battle.
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“Everything has been extremely transparent. They’re telling us exactly how they’re handling it. It’s not being said to one person, and Sam hears another thing; it’s right there in front of us and clear and concise,” he said.
“For me, it’s obviously not second nature yet, but I’m trying to make those steps toward you learn the reads well enough to where it’s a reaction to get through the progressions and knowing where to go. Last week was definitely slower than I would like it to be, but that’s to be expected. Looking to make some steps this week with repeated calls and get better.”
Mayfield spent four seasons with the Browns. He led Cleveland to a playoff win in 2020, their first playoff win since the 1994 season. It was also Cleveland’s first playoff appearance since 2002 and first winning season since 2007.
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His 2021 season was in disarray as he tried to play through injuries. In 14 games, he had 3,010 passing yards, 17 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions.