Baker Mayfield was in New Jersey on Friday, but not to meet with the New York Jets or New York Giants. No, those meetings will occur in a few weeks. This time, he visited the Garden State to collect some hardware.
The former Oklahoma star was feted at the Tropicana Atlantic City, where the Maxwell Football Club honored him with the Maxwell Award, given to the nation's top player. Before the festivities, Mayfield talked about his meeting with the Jets at the NFL scouting combine last weekend in Indianapolis.
"I did meet with them," he said before his news conference. "The meeting went well. I met with them at the Senior Bowl for a little bit. Kind of had a small introduction with some of the offensive guys and more of their staff was there at the combine. Went smooth, watched some more film. Sat down and got to know them a little bit more. Talked through some ball, getting to know them at a personal level so they know what they are getting. Think it went well."
The Jets also met with top quarterback prospects Josh Allen, Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen at the combine. In Mayfield's case, they've arranged for a pre-draft visit to the team's facility and they will travel to Oklahoma for a private workout. If the Jets don't sign free agent Kirk Cousins, Mayfield -- and the others -- could be a consideration with the sixth pick in the draft.
Mayfield said he'd relish the intense spotlight that comes with playing in New York.
“I’d love to be drafted anywhere honestly, but to be able to play on a New York team -- the spotlight, the pressure, I think that’s something I really enjoy," he said at his news conference. "Having to live up to a high standard, I love setting expectations and standards high so that’s two spots that would fit pretty well for me.”
Mayfield was joined at the Maxwell gala by Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, who received the 23rd Chuck Bednarik Award as the nation's top defensive player. He, too, could be a consideration for the Jets.
Fitzpatrick, coming off a national championship with the Crimson Tide, has lofty expectations for his rookie year.
“My first season I want to win a Super Bowl as a team, while at the same time establishing myself as the best defensive back in the league," he told a news conference. "On the draft process, nothing really surprised me. It’s a lot of hard work, but I’m also enjoying it at the same time. I really look at it as a blessing.”