Baker Mayfield said the Deshaun Watson suspension is "none of my business" as he underlined that his complete focus is on helping the Carolina Panthers be a good team. After the 2021 season, the Cleveland Browns decided to move on from Mayfield and trade for Watson.
On Monday, ESPN reported that Watson was handed a six-game suspension for violating the NFL's conduct policy. Reporters wanted to know about Mayfield's thoughts on the situation but he wasn't really interested in getting too much into it.
The Panthers take on the Browns in Week 1. Since Watson won't be eligible to play, Mayfield won't have a chance to go head-to-head versus Watson. "Honestly, it's none of my business," Mayfield told Josina Anderson of CBS Sports.
"I don't play against the other quarterback. I know that's the most cliche thing to say, but that's just the truth when it comes down to it. I'm game-planning against that defense. So, I've got to keep getting better.
I'm not focused on Week 1 right now. We'll handle that when it comes, but for now, it's about getting the Panthers better and our offense continuing to get better as well."
Mayfield 'did not have thoughts' on Watson's suspension
When asked directly if he had any thoughts about Watson's suspension, Mayfield underlined his job in the NFL is to play a quarterback and not to decide who gets suspended.
"No," Mayfield said. "I'm paid to play quarterback and lead this team, not to make decisions on anything other than that." Meanwhile, Panthers Shaq Thompson offered some high praise for Mayfield.
According to Thompson, Mayfield is a great competitor and he reminds him of 2015 NFL MVP Cam Newton. "He's a competitor," Thompson said of Mayfield, via Joseph Person of The Athletic. "That's how Cam was in 2015.
Cam was a competitor, talking mess. We're all competitors. I love a quarterback who talks trash. We're gonna talk trash right back at him." Mayfield had a down year last season but it should be noted that he was hampered by a shoulder injury.
Mayfield is now healthy again and he gets a new chance to prove himself with the Panthers. However, Mayfield is not guaranteed the team's starting quarterback spot as he and Sam Darnold are in an open competition. It remains to be seen if Mayfield can beat out Darnold and be the Panthers' starting quarterback in Week 1.