Baker Mayfield says he absolutely will be kneeling this NFL season

Baker Mayfield emphatically says he plans to kneel during the 2020 season.

Baker Mayfield is on the right side of this.

While the former No. 1 overall pick by the Cleveland Browns has been one of the most polarizing players in the league the last two years, Mayfield has always had his teammates’ backs. This was the case when he was a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback at Oklahoma and it is the case now entering year three in the NFL with Cleveland.

Mayfield responded to a fan on Instagram that not only does he plan to kneel during the playing of the national anthem during the next NFL season, he says he absolutely will.

Mayfield isn’t the first major of player note to announce he’ll be kneeling this upcoming football season. While Houston Texans star defensive lineman J.J. Watt didn’t explicitly say it, he implied he will take a knee in support of his teammates, as well as his head coach Bill O’Brien. It was reported on Friday O’Brien will kneel alongside his Texans players this season.

Baker Mayfield absolutely will take a knee this season in support of BLM.

Up to this point, it’s been a very quiet offseason for Mayfield standards. After setting the league on fire for an overachieving Browns team as a rookie, Mayfield appeared in seemingly every commercial under the sun during his second year in the league. He regressed and his head coach got fired, as did the guy who drafted him. Cleveland finished 1.5 games worse in 2019 than it did in 2018.

Mayfield knows this is a make-or-break year for him professionally. If he plays well, the Browns will likely extend him the fifth-year option. Should he struggle on the field, Mayfield will be just another Cleveland quarterback who couldn’t measure up to Northeast Ohio legend Bernie Kosar. Though it’s the biggest year of Mayfield’s football life, some things are just more important.

There is a new regime in town in Cleveland. Former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski will be a first-time head coach. Former Philadelphia Eagles front office executive Andrew Berry has his first shot as an NFL general manager. With two adults in the room, it looks like Mayfield is finally growing out of his sophomoric ways in his mid-20s.

Not everything Mayfield does on and off the field wins fans over. He’s one of those players that you either love or hate. Some call it cocky, others call it confident. While his accuracy and competitiveness will keep him in the league, his small stature and proclivity for turning the ball over could end up shortening his career. Regardless, he’s on the right side of history here.

And there you have it, a rare offseason victory for Mayfield, albeit a very, very important one.

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