Count Browns legend Bernie Kosar among those who believe Baker Mayfield will resurface with a different NFL team and be a successful NFL quarterback again.
Kosar, the Browns quarterback from 1985-93 who led them to the playoffs every year from 1985-89, was among many celebrities walking around the atrium inside Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on March 23 before the start of the Cleveland Sports Awards show. He said he hasn’t kept up with current events in the NFL because he has been concentrating on his personal health. So he wasn’t ready to answer questions about the trade for Deshaun Watson.
Kosar, 58, chronicled having more than 100 concussions during his playing career throughout high school, college and the NFL.
“I lost consciousness 20 times,” he said.
Kosar said he has had “at least” 40 surgeries and twice was in a coma. One lasted 72 hours and another lasted 96 hours. He said when he awoke in 2017 from the 96-hour coma, he made the decision to turn to holistic medicine and chuck the bottles upon bottles of blood pressure medicine, cholesterol medicine, painkillers and sleeping pills doctors had been prescribing for more than 20 years. He said all that medicine was destroying his stomach.
#Browns cornerback Greg Newsome answers questions about Deshaun Watson, Baker Mayfield and his goals for next season Wednesday night before the Cleveland Sports Awards show at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. pic.twitter.com/er9evAJFzb
— Jeff Schudel (@jsproinsider) March 23, 2022
Now Kosar relies on his juicer. Once a week he has vitamins pumped intravenously into him to get maximum value from them.
That is the backdrop for Kosar saying he hasn’t kept up with what is going on in the NFL well enough to comment on the Browns acquiring Watson in a trade with the Texans. But he is in tune enough to stick up for Mayfield.
“For me and I think for the fans, too, I know there’s a lot of thinking about the ‘now’ right now. But we had the No. 1 pick (in 2018) for a reason,” Kosar said, referring to drafting Mayfield first overall after the Browns were 0-16 in 2017. “We actually last year were 8-9, one of the better records this century for our team, and we were disappointed.
“(For Mayfield) to take us to the playoffs (in 2020), to win at Pittsburgh in a playoff game — that hasn’t been done (before) in Browns history. We have to honor and respect something like that.”
But now Mayfield is a quarterback without a team. The Colts filled their vacancy by trading with the Falcons for Matt Ryan. The Falcons signed Marcus Mariota. The Texans are happy with Davis Mills. The Saints re-signed Jameis Winston.
The Panthers reportedly are not interested in Mayfield, even though they, along with the Falcons, Saints and Browns, were hot for Watson. The Seahawks are apparently ready to ride with Drew Lock or draft a quarterback. The Detroit Lions need a quarterback, too. John Dorsey, who drafted Mayfield for the Browns, now works in the Lions’ front office.
PHOTOS: Greater Cleveland Sports Awards, March 23, 2022
The Browns might be forced to release Mayfield and eat his guaranteed $18,858,000 contract if they can’t trade him. Talent-wise, it would be best for the Browns to hold onto Mayfield as insurance if Watson is suspended to start the 2022 season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy in connection to the 22 civil lawsuits he is facing for alleged sexual misconduct.
But that won’t happen. Mayfield doesn’t want to play for the Browns again, and the Browns made it clear they don’t want him around when they gave Watson a fully guaranteed $230 million contract.
“I wish Baker the best going forward,” Kosar said. “I say this about all of us quarterbacks; 99 percent of us are victims or beneficiaries of the players around us. We do way better when we have good players around us.
“Bake has shown he can take a team to the playoffs. We were 8-9 last year with him playing hurt and being at 60, 65 percent. Baker Mayfield at 100 percent is absolutely going to be a winning quarterback again in this league.”
So did the Browns make a mistake not doing more to keep their relationship with Mayfield from disintegrating?
Kosar said he wasn’t prepared to answer that question.