Cleveland, Ohio – In this version of Hello, Mary Kay! Answer questions about Baker Mayfield, Jadeveon Clowney, Deshaun Watson, and more.
Hi, Mary Kay: What are the odds that Baker will play Mayfield if Deshaun Watson isn’t available? – Gary L. Hahn, Crossville, Tennessee.
Hi Gary: I think the chances of that are very slim. For starters, I think Brown would find a business partner for Mayfield before training camp even if they had to pay a portion of his $18.86 million salary. I think some of the team would be smart enough to trade for Mayfield, who can still help the team squad and represents an upgrade over a handful of current NFL starters.
But if for some reason Mayfield is still suspended at the start of the season, he will not start with Watson if he is suspended. That job will go to second quarterback Jacobi Brissett, who has been working here on an off-season program and developing timing with his new teammates.
If Brissett gets hurt amid Watson’s suspension and Mayfield is still here, the Browns will have to decide between Mayfield and Josh Dobbs, but I don’t see it getting to that point. Brown should trade Mayfield as quickly as possible and eliminate the distraction.
Hi, Mary Kay: Do you think the uncertainty surrounding Deshaun Watson’s possible comment will have any bearing on whether Jadvion Clooney signs with Brown? Stephen C., Beavercreek, Ohio
Hi Stephen: I don’t think Watson’s situation will have any bearing on whether or not Clooney re-signs with Brown. I think he’d probably be more eager to get back now that Watson has arrived, but I don’t think the uncertainty about the suspension would negatively affect his decision. I think Clowney enjoyed playing with the Browns, and they want him back. I think they’d like to settle Baker Mayfield’s situation first if they could, and have the extra space to work with. But with the common interest, there’s no reason not to do it sometime soon. Clowney was an integral part of the d-line last season, and it only makes sense to keep the band together.
Hi, Mary Kay: Why not replace Baker Mayfield with Panthers receiver Robbie Anderson (who wouldn’t play for Mayfield anyway) and split the $4 million salary difference. Seems simple to me. – Leo Cinder, University Heights, Ohio
Hi Leo: For starters, Browns are not in the market for a veteran receiver at the moment, preferring to choose a draft in return. Second, the Panthers just restructured Anderson’s contract in March, turning $11.765 million into a split signing bonus over the next two years, so they can’t really move it right now. It would be embarrassing if Mayfield ended up in the Carolinas, but I don’t see Anderson coming here at this point. Of course, if Brown is determined to seal a deal, they may be willing to consider things they have not done before.
Hi, Mary Kay: You mentioned that Brown have said they plan to use Dmitrik Felton more on the comeback next season. The rear jogging room became more crowded after the draft, and receivers installed were still in short supply. So is it possible that they reverse the path and use it more as a receiver, or does David Bell’s addition make that less of a need? Also, does this lack of receivers mean we might see Karim Hunt use more in the passing game, even if Nick Chubb is on the field as well? Thanks. Howard Katz, Cleveland.
Hi, Howard: In the weekend’s draft, Kevin Stefansky said Felton will continue to work with both the racing backs and receivers and see how it turns out. Felton is a specialist player, so doing double duty will increase his chances of hitting the court. The Bell addition also takes care of the hole’s role most of the time. I think Karim Hunt will be using more of his passing game this season, partly because of Deshaun Watson and partly because he should be healthier and able to do more. I’ve always loved the idea of him and Chub out on the field together, but that didn’t happen much to this point for one reason or another.
Hi, Mary Kay: Who do you think will most likely face Brown in primetime this year, and how might Deshaun Watson’s possible suspension affect the schedule? – Cal, Westlake, Ohio.
Hi Cal: I think the NFL would love to show a prime-time game between Deshaun Watson and Joe Burrow or Lamar Jackson this season. They may also want to offer Watson opposite Tom Brady. If the league is hoping to catch Watson in prime time, they may want to schedule those games later in the season, but I don’t think they would allow his potential shutdown to dictate their prime-time roster.
Hi, Mary Kay: With Jerome Ford’s return in round five drafted, do you think we’re planning to keep five backs in the 53 especially with the departure of Andy Janowicz? If not, what do you see happening? Thank you and love the show. – Brent Watson, regular Browns fan, Punta Gorda, Florida.
Hi, Brent: Thanks for listening to the Orange and Brown Talk podcast. We enjoy doing it. Ford’s pick at No. 156 gives Brown some flexibility in the backroom running, and it remains to be seen how she plays out. They drafted Ford primarily as an evolutionary comeback with D’Ernest Johnson and Kareem Hunt in the later years of their decade. If Ford looks really good this season, starting with the junior camper this weekend, he could probably make someone like Johnson an expendable one.
Brown will also have to determine if they need a full-time full-back on the roster or if they could otherwise fulfill the role. They don’t necessarily have to consider Felton a back-runner, so they can still afford to keep five people (Nick Chubb, Hunt, Johnson, Ford and Johnny Stanton IV), which offers the possibility of some contributing to special teams. They also have more flexibility with the coaching staff, so they need to be able to keep whoever they want.
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