Cleveland Browns fans excited to see Baker Mayfield make his NFL debut may be forced to wait a while. Tyrod Taylor is firmly in control of the offense right now.
Players drafted with the No. 1 overall selection in the NFL Draft don’t often spend much time on the bench. Baker Mayfield may turn out to be an exception to that rule. At least for the time being, Tyrod Taylor is well ahead of him on the Browns’ depth chart.
In fairness to Hue Jackson and company, they announced Taylor as the starter as soon as they acquired him this summer. It’s always publicly been their stance that Mayfield would have to wait his turn. Despite those public proclamations, there were still plenty of people who believed Mayfield would be the Browns starter Week 1.
Jackson’s recent comments make that outcome very unlikely. Cleveland’s head coach told local reporters that Taylor has “earned the right to be the starting quarterback.” That would seemingly eliminate any chance Mayfield has to win the starting job barring an injury to the former Bills quarterback.
Evidently Jackson’s comments didn’t surprise Taylor in the slightest. He’s adamant in his belief that the Browns are “his team.” The athletic signal caller takes pride in his ability to lead his teammates and take command of the offensive huddle. Mayfield would be well served to study how Taylor goes about his business in that regard.
Even though Taylor will almost certainly be the starter when the season begins, it’s hard to imagine Mayfield won’t take over at some point this season. Unless Cleveland makes an unlikely run to the playoffs, the team’s front office will want to see their top pick get some meaningful game action. His opportunities will inevitably come at Taylor’s expense.
Tyrod Taylor deserves a lot of credit for how he’s handled his situation in Cleveland. He didn’t pout and complain after the Browns spent a big pick on a player that will ultimately replace him. Instead, he just went about his business as a professional. That should be enough to get him multiple starts this season for the Browns.