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Browns all in on Baker Mayfield as franchise quarterback

The 2020 season has proved to be a turning point for Baker Mayfield, and the Cleveland Browns are confident he will be their franchise quarterback going forward.

"From what I understand, he has answered all questions for them as an organization," said NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport on NFL GameDay Morning. "They do believe he is their franchise quarterback. And it's not just what he's done on the field, it's also off the field -- the maturity that he's shown, and the Browns are clearly all in on this guy based on what he has done this year.

"As far as a possible contract extension, it could come this offseason, could also come next offseason. There is no rush. There's a lot of other issues at play here, but make no mistake -- Baker is their guy in Cleveland."

Mayfield's play in 2020 should benefit any impending contract extension. The former No. 1 overall pick led the franchise to its first playoff win since 1994 with last week's wild-card victory over the rival Pittsburgh Steelers, which comes amid Cleveland's first playoff appearance in 18 years. Mayfield may not have posted career-highs in touchdowns or yards in 2020, but the third-year QB did have his most efficient season with a 26-8 TD-to-INT ratio while becoming a veritable leader in the locker room.

Entering this season, Mayfield's future in Cleveland wasn't so sure. Through two years, Mayfield compiled a 12-17 record as the starter and was prone to mistakes with 35 interceptions in the 30 games he appeared in. Two head coaching changes within his first two years may've hindered Mayfield's early progression, but with Kevin Stefanski's first season being a rousing success, the franchise no longer needs to worry about a position that has plagued them in the past.

As the Browns head into Kansas City on Sunday afternoon to face the Chiefs in the Divisional Round, the franchise and their QB can be rest assured their future is secured beyond the 2020 season.

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