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Browns Exercise Fifth-Year Option on Baker Mayfield

Friday, the Cleveland Browns announced they were picking up the fifth-year option for quarterback Baker Mayfield.
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The Cleveland Browns have made the expected move of picking up quarterback Baker Mayfield's fifth-year option, which is worth $18.86 million in 2022.

Any extension talk between Mayfield and the Browns will begin for the 2023 season, which could happen in the summer. That would be the exact progression the Browns took with Myles Garrett last year, who agreed to a five-year extension last summer.

The benefit for the Browns is that they have Mayfield under control for one more year if they don't want to extend him at this point. More likely, when they want to extend, they have Mayfield at a reasonable $18.86 million for one more year before he would be paid potentially double that amount in any extension.

$18.86 million represents a massive escalation in pay for Mayfield and one the Browns have to account for, but it's still relatively easy to manage within the salary cap before he's averaging upwards of $30 million per season.

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For now, the Browns have Mayfield for the 2021 and 2022 season, which could be part of a window where they can compete for the Super Bowl. 

Mayfield is coming off an impressive 10-game stretch including his performance in both of the Browns playoff games. He was able to lead the Browns to a win in Pittsburgh in the wildcard round and then against the Kansas City Chiefs, he led the team to mount a comeback that ultimately fell short.

With a full offseason and the same coach for the first time for two seasons since Bob Stoops at Oklahoma, there's reason to be confident that Mayfield can not only continue that level of play but improve upon it.

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