Panthers’ Baker Mayfield deflects questions regarding Week 1 showdown with Deshaun Watson, Browns

The rest of the NFL world is talking about Deshaun Watson. Six-game suspensionbut Baker Mayfield, who was traded to Carolina after a messy divorce from Cleveland, is choosing to stay away.

Mayfield spoke to the media hours after the former Watson’s suspension was announced. Mayfield, the Browns’ quarterback from 2018-21, was asked about a potential Week 1 showdown between himself and Jacoby Brissett, who is in line to become the Browns’ starting quarterback while Watson serves his suspension. .

“Honestly, it’s none of my business,” Mayfield said CBS Sports NFL Insider Josina Anderson. “I don’t play against other quarterbacks. I know that’s the most cliche thing to say, but it’s just the truth when it comes down to it. I’m game planning against this defense. … So, I get it. Keep getting better.

“I’m not focused on Week 1 right now. … We’ll handle it when it comes, but for now, it’s about the Panthers getting better and our offense getting better.”

Mayfield offered a similar response when asked if he had any thoughts on Watson’s six-game suspension. The suspension, which was determined by former federal judge Sue L. Robinson, came after the NFL reportedly pushed for an indefinite suspension of at least one year.

“No,” Mayfield said. “I’m paid to play quarterback and lead this team, not to make decisions on anything else.”

Instead of adding fire to the flame, Mayfield chose to keep his thoughts on Watson and his former team. Mayfield chose to answer those questions diplomatically, redirecting the shift to his current situation: a position battle with Sam Darnold, a fellow first-round pick.

While it’s still early in camp, Mayfield has enjoyed a solid start with his new team. Along with success in practice, his on-field demeanor has struck a chord with his teammates. In fact, veteran Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson recently compared Mayfield to the best quarterback in franchise history, Cam Newton.

“He’s a competitor,” Thompson said of Mayfield, by Joseph Person of the Athletic. “That’s what Cam was in 2015. Cam was a competitor, messing around. We’re all competitors. I love a quarterback who talks trash. We’re trash talkers with him. are.”