Quarterback Baker Mayfield didn't hide in the media, saying he can't wait to play his former Cleveland Browns teammates.
The newcomer to the Carolina Panthers will have the opportunity to experience this reunion from the first meeting of the 2022 season, on September 11.
“I will not be a robot and tell you that this is not the date I have circled on my calendar, he said Monday, his remarks were reported by his club's website.
“It's not who I am. The most important thing for me is to win matches. No matter who we face, I will try to win. This match obviously has a little more history and a personal aspect. The important thing, however, is to win to set the tone for the rest of the year. No matter how I can help the team win, I will.”
Last week, the Browns traded Mayfield to the Panthers for a conditional fifth-round draft pick. 2024 of the NFL.
A bitter end
The 27-year-old center was the Cleveland club's opening round pick (first overall) in 2018 and served as a starter for four seasons. He lost his job, however, after the Browns acquired Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans.
“I try not to do that,” Mayfield replied when asked. if he had a grudge against his former team.
“For me, it is above all a new beginning. I'm extremely grateful for the four years I spent in Cleveland, it's a great football city.”
“There were a lot of ups and downs, a lot of things I learned, but ultimately I wanted a fresh start. I wanted to be with a coach and general manager who really wanted me.”
At the Panthers, Mayfield will be competing with Sam Darnold for the starting position. That's what general manager Scott Fitterer said Tuesday.
“The reason we added Baker was to make our group [of quarterbacks] better overall, said the DG. Our philosophy is to add competition, not just in the quarter room, but at every position.”
In 14 games last year, Mayfield shot 60.5% of his assists for 3,010 yards, 17 majors and 13 interceptions. Darnold, for his part, maintained a completion rate of 59.9%, amassed 2,527 yards, scored nine majors and committed 13 interceptions in 12 games.