NFL

Hall of Famer Steve Young: Browns QB Baker Mayfield ‘can’t play the victim’

Steve Young knows what it’s like to face on-the-field adversity. Before Young evolved into a quarterback worthy of earning a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he failed to find his best form with a couple of lousy Tampa Bay Buccaneers teams, and he then spent multiple years serving as a backup for Joe Montana before he proved himself to be an all-time great while with the San Francisco 49ers. 

Now an NFL analyst, Young spoke with “The Rich Eisen Show” on Monday about signal-caller Baker Mayfield, who lost his starting job when the Cleveland Browns traded for Deshaun Watson in March and who still doesn’t have a new football home less than two weeks before the Memorial Day holiday. 

“You can’t play the victim,” Young said regarding advice he’d offer Mayfield, per Brad Crawford of 247Sports. “Victimization has to be put in a bottle and buried in the ground because it’s too easy to play victim. Look, there’s a lot of things out of your control and a lot of (things) you’ve been done wrong. You cannot, in the NFL, survive and play the victim. You have to leave it behind and own every bit of it. 

“Own every mistake you’ve ever made. Own how you got here. Don’t blame other people. You got yourself here. You’re here. You own it and that would go a long way for everybody to feel like Baker Mayfield can make the elements of a comeback. You can’t get there in the spirit of victimization. It can’t happen.”

Young’s words may prove wise, but they don’t address the $18.858 million of fully guaranteed salary owed to Mayfield for 2022 that’s seemingly preventing the Browns from finding a buyer for his services. The Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks continue to be linked with Mayfield but may be willing to wait until the summer to see if Cleveland will cut the 27-year-old before training camp sessions begin. 

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