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Browns’ Baker Mayfield to undergo surgery on torn labrum suffered in disappointing 2021 season

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Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

It’s an offseason filled with question marks surrounding the future of Baker Mayfield, but he’s already answered any questions regarding his toughness. The former first-overall pick battled through a shoulder injury that made it difficult to be as productive as he or the Cleveland Browns would’ve liked en route to their promising season ending in disappointment, doing what he could to remain available with a plan of undergoing surgery to repair his shoulder in the offseason. And he’s staying true to that plan, wasting no time to make sure he’s ready for training camp.

Mayfield is reportedly set to undergo surgery on Wednesday, Jan. 19, per Jake Trotter of ESPN, in a procedure that will fix the torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder. The procedure is set to be performed by Dr. Orr Limpisvasti, orthopedic surgeon of the Anaheim Ducks. 

The veteran quarterback drew the ire of many who felt he was doing the Browns a disservice by playing injured — the father of running back Kareem Hunt being the latest football parent (the previous was Odell Beckham Sr.) reaming him for his performances in-season — but both Mayfield and the Browns understood the risk, and the latter cleared him to play. He’d go on to finish the year with a career-low mark of 17 touchdowns to go along with 13 interceptions, logging the second-lowest passer rating of his career (83.1), a career-low QBR (35.3) and a completion percentage of 60.5 — the second-lowest of his career by less than one percent.

Of course, the Browns’ inability to protect him didn’t help, as he was sacked 43 times in 14 starts, taken down on 9.3% of his pass attempts. It all led to a cauldron of problems that drove the Browns to an 8-9 finish that included four losses in their final six games to ultimately eliminate them from playoff contention — their victory in Week 18 against a Cincinnati Bengals team with nothing to gain having simply been ceremonial.

Mayfield is entering the fifth and final year of his rookie contract, one set to hit the Browns salary cap for $18.86 million, assuming an extension isn’t agreed upon before then that reshapes the 2022 figure. And, now, part of the contract discussions with the Browns will be how his shoulder is coming along, in addition to working to make sure he’s the true face of their franchise for years to come.

If allowed to play out his final year, the situation becomes that much more intense one year from now.

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