When the Cleveland Browns report for mandatory minicamp next week, their starting quarterback from 2021 will not be present -- by design.
Baker Mayfield will be excused from the offseason workout sessions, a mutual decision between him and the team, coach Kevin Stefanski confirmed to reporters Wednesday.
"We felt like that was the best decision for both sides," Stefanski said, declining to discuss further his communication with Mayfield.
All players are subject to more than $90,000 in team fines if they are not present during all three days of mandatory minicamp, but Mayfield's excused absence means Cleveland will not penalize the quarterback.
Mayfield is in a professional purgatory while the Browns proceed with their offseason program. The fifth-year signal-caller requested a trade during the Browns' pursuit of Deshaun Watson, even as it appeared the former Houston Texans QB was heading elsewhere. When Cleveland completed its trade for Watson and subsequently signed him to a fully guaranteed $230 million contract, the writing was on the wall for Mayfield: The Browns were moving on from their 2018 first-overall pick.
Still, Mayfield remains on Cleveland's roster, as the team has so far failed to locate a trade partner for the quarterback. Carolina and Seattle remain potential landing spots for Mayfield, as their QB situations remain unresolved, but no move is imminent.
The QB said in April that he felt "disrespected" by the Browns during their pursuit of Watson and that he was ready for his "next chapter."
Mayfield has not been present at Cleveland's voluntary organized team activities, while Watson and backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett have been. Watson currently is facing 24 civil lawsuits alleging sexual assault and misconduct during massage sessions and is under investigation by the league. Stefanski declined Wednesday to discuss the new allegations against Watson, telling reporters on multiple occasions that he wants to let the legal and investigative process play out before commenting.
The Browns' three-day mandatory minicamp begins June 14.