Baker Mayfield said nothing the Giants and Daniel Jones haven’t heard before.
But the Browns quarterback, who was critical of the team’s selection of Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick and essentially called him a loser in a magazine interview that emerged on Tuesday, does have the distinction of being the first to whom the Giants directly responded. Up until now, the organization has brushed most of those comments – and there have been many – away in silence and allowed Jones’ performances to be the response.
“I know he’s a winner,” Giants coach Pat Shurmur said on Tuesday when asked about Mayfield’s remarks about Jones. “We had a reason for why we [drafted him] and we do feel like he helps his team win. We have a lot of reasons why Daniel is our quarterback.”
Mayfield, apparently, couldn’t come up with many.
In the latest diagnosis of Big Blue Fever – aka The New York Giants Complex that exists in Cleveland and forces players there to regularly weigh in on all things related to a team that no longer has or never had anything to do with them – Mayfield was being interviewed for GQ magazine when a television in the background showed a story on Jones. That’s when he let ‘er rip.
“I cannot believe the Giants took Daniel Jones,” Mayfield said. “Blows my mind.”
Mayfield was then pressed on what scouts look for in quarterbacks.
“Some people overthink it,” Mayfield told the magazine in a long feature story. “That’s where people go wrong. They forget you’ve gotta win.”
Jones’ record at Duke as a starter was 17-19 over three seasons.
“Either you have a history of winning and being that guy for your team, or you don’t,” Mayfield said.
Jones danced around his record a bit, taking responsibility for it even though it probably had more to do with the rest of the players at Duke than him.
“I think I’m a competitor,” Jones said. “I think I’m a winner.”
On Tuesday, Mayfield posted on social media that the quotes were taken out of context.
Jones said on Tuesday that he lumped Mayfield’s comments in the large pile of other such remarks and doubts that have been made since April.
“I try not to listen to what’s being said and I think I’ve done a pretty good job of that,” he said. “I’ve heard that before, kind of the same mindset. I certainly have a lot to focus on here and I have a lot to worry about here and I’m focusing on that.”
Jones said it does not motivate him to perform better.
“There are a lot of things before that that motivate me, to be honest,” he said. “I’m not sure that’s the best motivator, if the thing you’re looking forward to doing most is proving people wrong. I’m not sure that’s the best way to improve every day or get where you want to go.”
Mayfield wasn’t the only Browns player slinging mud at the Giants. In a Sports Illustrated article, Beckham was quoted as saying the Giants traded him to Cleveland “to die.” Last month, Beckham was quoted in a separate GQ article in which he slammed the organization for its handling of him and the trade, blamed Shurmur for his departure and said he was carrying the franchise’s “brand” during his tenure with the team.
“Quite frankly, on our list of issues of the day, it really doesn’t matter what Odell or Baker say,” Shurmur said on Tuesday. “There are many other things that we should probably be discussing ... Again, we wish him well. It was a trade. We said that all along. I wouldn’t comment on what he feels about the situation.”
Shurmur did, however, comment on Jones.
“The one thing about Dan is, don’t confuse calm and composed for a guy who isn’t competitive and a winner,” Shurmur said. “I’m fond of the phrase ‘still waters run deep,’ so that’s what I think of Daniel.”
To that point, Jones stammered a bit when asked if he would respond to trash talk like what Mayfield said had it taken place on a field of play rather than in a magazine. He eventually landed on “maybe” as an answer.
“I’d make sure we won the game,” Jones said.
The Browns play the Giants at MetLife Stadium in 2020.