Monday, Monday: Mayfield, Deion, Verlander and 'The Crime Dog' Fred McGriff
Monday, Monday, can't trust that day
Monday, Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way
— The Mama’s and the Papa’s (1966)
It’s too much.
Just too much.
Here’s three pieces of sports news you might have encountered on Monday, after which thinking “What the hell’s going on around here.”
1. The Carolina Panthers release Baker Mayfield.
After the Browns went the route of serial groper Deshaun Watson, Baker Mayfield landed with Carolina, where he’s promptly gone 1-5 as the Panthers’ starting quarterback.
Now he has no team and, though certain to land somewhere presuming he wants to, the chance any team will again see him as the Browns saw him coming off the bench in 2018 to revitalize a moribund franchise; or as most saw him after leading Cleveland to to an 11-5 record and the second round of the playoffs in a 2020 season he threw for 4,030 yards and 30 touchdowns against nine interceptions, is all but nothing.
The best player in Sooner football history’s professional fall has come preposterously fast.
In the Heisman hunt for two seasons before winning it in 2017, before becoming the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft and just two seasons removed from the NFL postseason, Mayfield completed just 56.5 percent of his passes, four for TDs against six picks in his six Carolina starts.
His best game for the Panthers?
The one he didn’t start: 14 of 20, 155 yards, two TDs, no picks in a 41-22 loss to Cincinnati.
They’re numbers that make a certain kind of sense, given Mayfield may never have been a better pro than the only other time he came off the bench: 17 of 23, 201 yards, no TDs or picks, yet leading the Browns past the Jets 21-17 on Sept. 16, 2018, in absolute star-was-born fashion.
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