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Reporter says Baker Mayfield “had been disrespectful so many times”

Despite plenty of preseason hype for the Browns, Freddie Kitchens and Cleveland are struggling amidst communications issues and a dysfunctional locker room.

The reporter who felt the wrath of Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield today after asking what Mayfield called the “dumbest question you could ask” says that it wasn’t the first time he and Mayfield haven’t seen eye to eye.

Veteran Cleveland sports writer Tony Grossi said on ESPN 850 in Cleveland that he’s not trying to pick a fight with Mayfield but also feels that Mayfield is needlessly antagonistic when he asks questions.

“I didn’t want to be in a confrontation with the quarterback of the Cleveland Browns, but he had been disrespectful so many times in the last couple weeks in response to simple questions by me,” Grossi said.

Grossi and Mayfield have a history: Grossi reported before the 2018 NFL draft that Mayfield had demanded first-class airfare when making pre-draft visits and suggested that made Mayfield a prima donna, something people close to Mayfield took issue with. Grossi said today that Mayfield’s issue with him stems from that.

“I think it goes back to the pre-draft conversations we had, things I said, things I wrote. OK, fine, but you have to move along,” Grossi said. “I tried to talk to him twice, alone, but he just wants no part of that. If he’s not going to do that I have to do my job as best as I can.”

Grossi said he’s uncomfortable becoming a part of the story but stands by the way he conducted himself when questioning Mayfield.