The Browns had a miserable 2021 season after they made the playoffs the previous year. They reacted by making Mayfield into one of the league’s biggest scapegoats. They stymied his chances of finding a good trade before signing sexual assaulter Deshaun Watson to an outrageous $230 million contract (via Fansided).
Meanwhile, they ignored the reality that Mayfield played through the pain barrier during a tough season. They didn’t give him a chance to bounce back in a ruthless decision. It’s common to blame quarterbacks when everything goes wrong but this was horrendous. If it was anybody except Watson maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad.