Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield focused on season, not extension

Under contract now through the 2022 season, Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield said Monday that he is focused on this season over signing a long-term extension with the team.

"The fifth-year option just happened, so a long-term deal I think is a little bit on the back burner for me," Mayfield said Monday in a call with reporters. "If we win games, everything will happen how it should. That is my mentality and I truly do believe that."

On Friday, the Browns exercised the fifth-year option on the former No. 1 overall pick, which will pay Mayfield $18.86 million in 2022.

Mayfield also is extension eligible this offseason, coming off a year in which he quarterbacked the Browns to their first playoff victory in 26 years.

Mayfield said that he has been getting asked about the potential extension a lot lately, but added that he's not stressing about it.

"It's also one of those things where I trust wholeheartedly in the Mills family, for them to handle that behind the scenes," Mayfield said of Jack and Tom Mills, his agents. "But right now, it's about setting up the foundation for this upcoming season and continuing to build on what we left with last year, and continue to improve."

The Browns won 12 games last season, culminating with a 48-37 victory over the Steelers in the first round of the playoffs, snapping Cleveland's 17-game losing streak in Pittsburgh. In that win, Mayfield passed for 263 yards and three touchdowns without an interception.

The Browns bring back every starter off an offense that ranked sixth in efficiency last season. Cleveland also will get back three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who suffered a season-ending ACL tear in Week 7.

Mayfield actually thrived after OBJ's injury, and from Week 7 to Week 15 he ranked third in the league in QBR, trailing only Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers. Mayfield, however, said that surge was a result of growing comfortable in first-time head coach Kevin Stefanski's system and not Beckham's absence. He also noted that he can't wait to incorporate Beckham into a Browns passing attack that blossomed over the course of last season.

"Where we were at before his injury happened -- on an underthrown ball by me -- we truly didn't have a true identity on offense at that point," Mayfield said. "It took our bye week [in Week 9] right in the middle of the season to really sit down and do a self-scout for us to grow.

"That's why we had the growth that we had from the first half to the second half of the year. I wouldn't say that it's because we weren't throwing to him. ... So it's not about that. The narrative can be what it is. But we're looking forward to getting back to work together."