This is a classic case of he said, she said.
A quote attributed to Baker Mayfield caused a bit of a stir earlier this week. Baker Mayfield didn’t deny he wants to beat the Cleveland Browns in the Carolina Panthers’ Sept. 11 opener, but he did deny saying he wants to “f— them up” after last week’s preseason finale against Buffalo.
NFL Network analyst Cynthia Frelund shared the original comments on Monday night’s “Around the NFL” podcast with Dan Hanzus, Marc Sessler, and Gregg Rosenthal.
A day later, the Carolina Panthers quarterback told his side of the story. It turns out that he didn’t say that he was going to “fuck them up.”
The reporter is not backing down from what she said.
“Frelund shared on the podcast and repeated to ESPN.com that she talked to Mayfield after the Panthers’ 21-0 victory and said that Mayfield repeated her words when she playfully told him to “f— them up.”
“He echoed it back,” Frelund told ESPN.com. “It was very innocuous on his part. The tone was gracious and happy and excited.”
Mayfield denied making any such comment about the team after Wednesday’s practice.
“First, I didn’t say it,” said Mayfield, who spent the past four years in Cleveland. “Everybody is going to write whatever story they want. There’s history because I played there the last four years. I’m an extremely competitive person. Everybody knows that. If I wasn’t wanting to win, then there would be a really big issue of me being the quarterback here.
“I want to win in everything I do. That’ll never change. But it’s not how I phrased it. It’s not even what I said, so let’s leave it at that.”
Whatever the case may be, Myles Garrett was happy to use Mayfield’s reported comments as bulletin board material.
“Talking like that and moving the way he does, it’s worked for him,” Garrett continued. “He uses that for fire, for motivation and I think speaking like that helps amp him up.
“It does the same for us as well. We’ll take it, and we’ll use it, and I’m hoping for a great matchup. I don’t think any less of him because he’s going out there and doing the same thing he did when he was with us.”
So what exactly was said? We’ll likely never know.
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