Former NFL quarterback and current NBC Sports football analyst Chris Simms ripped the Cleveland Browns for the way they handled current Tampa Bay Buccaneers signal-caller Baker Mayfield after Mayfield played through a serious injury to his non-throwing shoulder while with the Browns during the 2021 season.
“Baker got screwed over by the Browns — there’s no other way around it,” Simms told Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post for a piece published Friday. “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 cancelled them out, then they realized, ‘Oh, we’ve upset him. Now we have no quarterback. We have to finally get Deshaun Watson.'”
It was reported in March 2022 that Mayfield requested to be traded by the Browns after they initially failed to acquire Watson from the Houston Texans. ESPN’s Jake Trotter noted at that time that “Mayfield and his camp learned about the Browns’ meeting with Watson over social media.”
Of course, the Browns eventually convinced Watson to relocate to Cleveland by giving him a historic fully guaranteed five-year, $230M contract. The club later traded Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers in July 2022.
Cleveland made Mayfield the first overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, and he guided the Browns to a playoff win at the division-rival Pittsburgh Steelers in January 2021. Mayfield more recently found new life for his career with the Buccaneers and will lead that team into this Sunday’s divisional playoff game at the Detroit Lions.
“I think they are dangerous this weekend,” Simms said about a Buccaneers team listed by DraftKings Sportsbook on Friday afternoon as a 6.5-point underdog against the Lions. “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.”
Simms isn’t the only noteworthy analyst convinced Tampa Bay has a realistic chance to upset the Lions at Detroit’s Ford Field.