When Tom Brady retired in February 2023 for good, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans were left disheartened, thinking their Super Bowl aspirations were gone. Sports enthusiasts keep urging TB12 to take a U-turn, but he is unlikely to do so. Nevertheless, the Bucs couldn’t possibly predict that they were going to get a similar version of Brady in Baker Mayfield.
Mayfield will not be able to reach TB12’s height overnight, although his performance in the 2023 season has been promising enough to inject hope in the fan’s hearts. Amid the signal-caller’s promising season, former NFL QB and current NBC Sports football analyst Chris Simms slammed the Cleveland Browns, Mayfield’s former team, for stabbing him in the back.
Former NFL QB slams Browns over Baker Mayfield’s harsh treatment
Chris Simms lambasted the Browns for their treatment of Baker Mayfield during his tenure with the team. In a recent interview with the New York Post, he didn’t mince words by asserting that the QB “got screwed over by the Browns” in the handling of his injury
“Baker got screwed over by the Browns—there’s no other way around it. He played with a hurt shoulder for a year  and didn’t play great. They used that against him and then went out and tried to get Deshaun Watson without letting him know”, he said via Marca.
Mayfield was battling a torn labrum and fraying in his non-throwing shoulder throughout the 2021 season. Still, he could not escape harsh criticism for his performance. Simms contends that the Browns exploited Mayfield’s struggles while injured, only to pursue Deshaun Watson without informing him.
The ex-NFL star also expressed confidence in Baker Mayfield’s capabilities by predicting an upset for the Bucs against the Detroit Lions.
“I think they are dangerous this weekend. I think they match up really well with Detroit. If you ask me to pick one upset that could happen this week, it would be this one.”
However, reality didn’t align with Simms’ prediction, as the Bucs fell short, losing 23-31 in the divisional playoff match against the Lions. Mayfield put up a commendable effort by completing 26 of 41 passes for 349 yards and delivering three touchdown tosses. Despite his individual performance, the team faced defensive struggles in the second half that ultimately prevented them from securing the upset victory.
Reason for Browns going with Deshaun Watson instead of Mayfield
The Browns noticed a promising rookie season from Baker Mayfield, who they selected as the first overall pick. But the draw of Deshaun Watson’s play on the field and the contract dispute with the Houston Texans made a big move possible.
Mayfield was the first player picked in the 2018 NFL draft, and his starting year was exceptionally good. He played a crucial role in the Browns’ long-awaited playoff victory after a 20-year drought. But doubts persisted throughout the organization over his maturity and his capacity to guide the club to a Super Bowl victory.
The Houston Texans’ star quarterback Deshaun Watson was in the midst of a contract dispute and a one-year holdout. A cloud was raised over his future by severe claims of sexual assault. The Browns traded for Watson in order to take advantage of this turbulent moment. The trade involved six draft picks and a substantial five-year, $230 million contract that is fully guaranteed for Watson.
However, Watson’s tenure with the Browns has been marred by suspensions and a season-ending injury, limiting his impact to just 12 games over two seasons. Meanwhile, Baker Mayfield led the Bucs to a division title and secured a playoff win against the Philadelphia Eagles. Despite a loss to the Lions, his performance served as sweet revenge against the Browns, who departed with him doubting his caliber.