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Jimmy Haslam denies saying Browns needed “an adult” instead of Baker Mayfield

After another grand jury heard an additional criminal complaint against Deshaun Watson, Mike Florio and Peter King question how the Browns could sign the QB with so much of his legal situation still up in the air.

Even before the Browns traded for Deshaun Watson, it became clear that they wanted to move on from Baker Mayfield when anonymous sources in Cleveland started badmouthing Mayfield in the media, including saying that the Browns “want an adult” at quarterback. But Browns owner Jimmy Haslam denies that he said that.

Haslam said today that he has nothing against Mayfield and hopes he has a good career elsewhere.

“Contrary to what is out there in the press, we think highly of Baker and did not get down on him,” Haslam said. “I know there was a statement that we needed an adult in the room, and Baker thought that came from ownership. That’s not true. Baker gave it everything he had while he was here. Nobody can question his effort this past year, and nobody can question the four years he gave to the city of Cleveland, and we wish him nothing but the best of luck.”

Haslam talked about Mayfield’s time in Cleveland in the past tense, and it’s clear that Mayfield won’t be back. But Mayfield has an $18.858 million guaranteed salary this season, so if the Browns can’t find another team willing to take on that salary, Haslam will be paying Mayfield not to play.