Andrew Berry and Mary Kay Cabot are on the Clock
Despite their ups and downs, the Pittsburgh Steelers have only had one losing season since the year 2000. In a league set up for mediocrity, that is an amazing statistic.
The Cleveland Browns, on the other hand, haven't had back to back winning seasons since 1988-1989. In a league set up for mediocrity, the Browns have only had 3 winning seasons since the year 2000.
In the last 2 seasons with Baker Mayfield, the Browns have won their first playoff game since 1994, posted a decent 19-14 record, and gave the Chiefs a run for their money in the 2020 playoffs. I know it's not great, but for the Browns, it's a good foundation after their abysmal 1-31 2016-2017 seasons. Not only did the team have a combined winning record over the past 2 years, they did so in 2 challenging Covid seasons.
So imagine my surprise this week when the Browns released their starting Center, their leading Wide Receiver, their second leading Wide Receiver, and their leading Tight End. Oh, and they are openly courting Texan's Quarterback Deshaun Watson. Baker Mayfield said his goodbyes to Cleveland and cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot reported.....
And this is where we start. Mary Kay Cabot technically doesn't work for the Browns, but other than the Browns' own Nathan Zegura, no one has thrown more softballs at management when covering the team. When the Browns finally got a decent, not a great, but a decent quarterback, she's ready to drive him to the airport for the first flight out of town. General Manager Andrew Berry is no better.
If you want to replace Baker Mayfield with Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers, I totally understand that. But to publicly flirt with Deshaun Watson is distasteful. What if he signs with the Falcons or Saints? Who's Cleveland's Plan B?
So I'm telling you right now, getting rid of Baker Mayfield should cost people their jobs if they're wrong. If Baker lands on his feet and takes another team to the playoffs next year, and if Cleveland misses the playoffs next year, Andrew Berry has to be fired. It is not time to start from scratch at QB yet again, and it appears that Berry is not all in to win next season. Whoever starts at QB for the Browns in the Fall HAS to be better than Mayfield, or else Berry has to go.
And no one apologizes for the decisions of the Browns more than Cabot, (for someone who's not actually paid by the Browns.) Over the last 20 years, the Browns have the worst record in the NFL with an 108-212-1 mark. With that record, the NFL beat reporter for the city's biggest newspaper should be throwing eggs at the owner every time he leaves his office. She should be wearing a "Jump Jimmy" shirt when she interviews the Haslams. She should be saying this to Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta "I can tell you are lying, your lips are moving."
Cabot has bought in that Mayfield is the problem with the Browns. I'm not even saying that Berry and Cabot are necessarily wrong, but you should have had your upgrade ready and signed before you went scorched earth ON THE QUARTERBACK WHO IS STILL UNDER CONTRACT.
Cabot has leaked stories about Mayfield's maturity. Who cares how mature he is. When I watch Aaron Rodgers, I don't see maturity inside that 40 year old body, I see drama. Baker Mayfield has the second best win-loss record for the Browns in the expansion era (for QB's with more than 3 starts.) Can the quarterback sling the ball? That should be the only question.
Again, I am beating my fist on the table, I am not married to Mayfield. YOU BETTER HAVE SOMEONE BETTER SINCE YOU'RE DRIVING HIM AWAY. If you're an analytics pinhead and want to explain to me how bad Mayfield's stats are, fine. You get his replacement, THEN you trade or cut Mayfield. You bet your job that Mayfield can be easily replaced.
Don't give me how hard it is to be the Browns Beat Writer. If Mary Kay was fired tomorrow, cleveland.com would have 500 applications sitting on the Sports Editor's desk to replace her within the week. She ain't splitting the atom, she is a mouthpiece for a NFL team.
Side Note: The Raiders cut Carl Nassib today.
Side Note II: Don't patronize me and tell me you understand my "passion." I'm tired of bad NFL football in my lifetime. You can cut any player you want as long as you have a better replacement player in mind. It is that simple and the Browns rarely grasp that concept. I truly believe that the Browns AND cleveland.com appreciate Cabot's milquetoast reporting because they have a business relationship.