Cleveland Browns excuse Baker Mayfield from mandatory minicamp in 'mutual decision'

BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns have excused quarterback Baker Mayfield from attending the team's mandatory minicamp next week.

The team said Wednesday that it was a "mutual decision and best for both parties."

Mayfield has been away from the Browns since Cleveland replaced him with Deshaun Watson as their starter in a trade with the Houston Texans in March.

Mayfield has been in his hometown of Austin, Texas, rehabilitating from offseason surgery that repaired a torn labrum in his left, non-throwing shoulder.

Cleveland has been unsuccessful so far this offseason in trading the former No. 1 overall pick. The Browns discussed a Mayfield trade with the Carolina Panthers during the NFL draft but never got close to a deal, according to multiple sources. The Panthers drafted Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral instead.

Mayfield is due to make almost $19 million in guaranteed money for the 2022 season. While organized team activities are voluntary, the full-squad minicamp is the one part of the offseason program that is mandatory for all players. Those who don't attend without being excused are subject to fines.

Watson is facing lawsuits from 24 women who have accused him of inappropriate sexual conduct during massage sessions. Though two grand juries in Texas declined to pursue criminal charges against Watson earlier this year, the NFL is investigating whether he violated the league's code of conduct and interviewed the quarterback in person last month as part of its investigation. At the league's spring meeting, commissioner Roger Goodell said he thought the NFL was nearing the end of its investigation but couldn't give a timeline for when a ruling might be made. Watson has denied all wrongdoing.

Earlier this offseason, the Browns signed Jacoby Brissett to be their backup quarterback.

Mayfield quarterbacked the Browns to their first playoff victory in 18 years back in 2020, but he struggled last season. Cleveland finished 8-9 and missed the postseason.

Cleveland's minicamp is set for June 14-16.