I’m sure you’ve all seen the big story in the NFL today. Baker Mayfield took a shot at Giants rookie QB Daniel Jones out of nowhere in his GQ feature. Jeff D Lowe and Clem have both blogged about it. Here’s the full quote from the graphic above:
“I cannot believe the Giants took Daniel Jones. Blows my mind. Some people overthink it. That’s where people go wrong. They forget you’ve gotta win.”
Jeff D. Lowe, Browns fan, mostly defended Mayfield as he should. Clem, Giants fan, called it an unprovoked shot at the Giants, which is true. My biggest takeaway from this is that Baker Mayfield might be the biggest hypocrite in football.
Now I’ll start off by saying that I want to like Baker Mayfield. I like that he’s got this swagger and confidence to him. He’s different than other quarterbacks and isn’t afraid to give a literal and figurative middle finger to his haters/doubters. But that’s exactly why him coming out to hate and doubt on a rookie quarterback makes no sense.
Look a TON of people in the media and fans criticized the Daniel Jones pick. I was one of those people, but that’s what media and fans are expected to do. Sure, Baker Mayfield is free to say whatever he wants and it’s somewhat refreshing to have such an outspoken athlete, but it’s a little different when it’s a shot at a rookie quarterback that Mayfield has no connection to. This isn’t “trash talk.” They play in different conferences and have no history with each other. This is just Baker Mayfield wanting to voice his opinion for no apparent reason and trash a rookie quarterback who has played zero regular season snaps. Just because you’re Baker Mayfield and went 7-7 last year doesn’t mean anyone cares about your QB evaluations.
The reason I think this is so hypocritical is because Baker Mayfield has become the poster boy of an underdog story who isn’t afraid to push back on people that criticize him (see Colin Cowherd). He walked on at Oklahoma. He wasn’t viewed as a legitimate NFL Draft prospect. Some people thought he was only a college performer and unworthy of the #1 overall pick. Well he won a Heisman, was drafted first, and had an impressive rookie season by all accounts.
Mayfield keeps a list of all media members who have doubted him and said negative things. He has screenshots of mean tweets saved in his phone. He uses it all as fuel and motivation. He goes on Colin Cowherd’s show to argue with him and push back against all of his criticism. All of that is awesome, and I’m glad he does it.
So you would think Mayfield and Jones would have a kinship over the fact that both were viewed as reaches and heavily criticized in the media. You’d think they’d bond over the fact that they both have a huge chip on their shoulder. Mayfield was the most criticized QB in last year’s draft class. Jones is the most criticized QB in this year’s draft class. You’d think maybe Mayfield would be more likely to reach out to Jones instead of just piling on with the criticism. It begs the question: Has Baker Mayfield already forgot where he came from? You have to wonder.
Now I hope that Daniel Jones treats Baker Mayfield the way that Mayfield treats Cowherd. Just constantly out to prove him wrong and give it back to him. But I know that Jones is basically Eli Manning 2.0 and will never do that. He’s already started to take the high road.
After I mostly wrote all this, Mayfield tried to clarify his comments on our Instagram page.
Maybe things got twisted a little, but is Mayfield saying that the reporter completely fabricated that entire exchange? It seems like Mayfield was still somewhat critical of the Jones pick for no reason. So I hope Jones still uses this as bulletin board material on his way to Canton.