There’s quite a bit of hype around the Cleveland Browns heading into the 2019 season. All the pressure that comes from the hype lies on quarterback Baker Mayfield’s shoulders. After one of the best rookie seasons by a signal-caller ever, Mayfield is in the running for an MVP award, according to BetOnline.
Odds to win MVP (via @betonline_ag):
Patrick Mahomes: 5/1
Carson Wentz: 9/1
Aaron Rodgers: 12/1
Baker Mayfield: 12/1
Drew Brees: 14/1
Tom Brady: 14/1
Philip Rivers: 20/1
Ezekiel Elliott: 50/1
Dak Prescott: 66/1
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) September 6, 2019
This is a huge surprise. Mayfield was good in his rookie season, but he was nowhere near the MVP award. While it’s true a lot of weapons have been added to the Cleveland offense, it’s not enough to warrant third-best odds to win the MVP. The former Oklahoma Sooner is tied with Aaron Rodgers for the third-best odds, which is frankly ridiculous.
Rodgers is an elite, established quarterback who has won both a Super Bowl and an MVP award. The Browns’ roster is better than the Packers’, but not nearly enough to think that complimentary players could boost Mayfield to Rodgers’ level. At this point, the hype train has reached unparalleled heights. Quarterbacks rarely progress so quickly (Patrick Mahomes is a special case), so it just doesn’t make sense.
The only scenario where Mayfield does take the MVP trophy home is if he leads the Browns to the playoffs. Cleveland is so starved for good football that even a merely above-average season from Mayfield will be taken out of proportion.
Hopefully Mayfield does play well enough to warrant receiving the award, and leads Cleveland to the playoffs. Almost everyone wants to see a Cleveland return to January football, and who knows, maybe we’ll see them in February.