Baker Mayfield’s antics come back to haunt him in Browns’ loss to 49ers

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa sacks and forces a fumble by Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield on Oct. 7 in Santa Clara. The Browns recovered the ball on that play but lost the game 31-3.
(Ezra Shaw / Getty Images)

Baker Mayfield is sometimes described as “brash.” It’s an image that the Cleveland Browns quarterback has done little to discourage and that his fans seem to have embraced over the years.

But some of Mayfield’s antics seemed to work against him Monday night during his team’s 31-3 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Mayfield was awful, completing only eight of 22 passes for 100 yards with no touchdowns (for the first time in his 18 NFL starts) and two interceptions. His completion percentage of 36.36 and passer rating of 13.4 were among the career lows set by the former No. 1 overall draft pick during the game.


San Francisco cornerback Richard Sherman, who intercepted a Mayfield pass less than two minutes into the game, said that the second-year QB inadvertently motivated the 49ers by refusing to shake his hand during the pregame coin toss. After the game, Sherman called the snub “amazing and annoying.”

San Francisco 49ers’ Richard Sherman still feels “disrespected” by Baker Mayfield but is sorry for suggesting the Cleveland Browns QB did not shake hands.

Oct. 9, 2019

“It’s ridiculous. We’re all trying to get psyched up, but shaking hands with your opponent — that’s NFL etiquette,” Sherman told “And when you pull bush league stuff, that’s disrespectful to the game. And believe me, that’s gonna get us fired up.”

On Tuesday morning, video surfaced that appeared to show Sherman and Mayfield making contact with their hands before the coin toss.

Sherman clarified later in the morning that he was upset about what happened after the coin toss, when Mayfield and at least one other member of the Browns darted toward the sideline without exchanging handshakes with the other team.

On Wednesday morning, Sherman said he plans to apologize to Mayfield for suggesting a handshake did not take place.


Defensive end Nick Bosa also got some revenge on Mayfield for something that happened two years ago when both players were in college. Mayfield, in the midst of a Heisman Trophy campaign with Oklahoma, celebrated a victory over Ohio State by attempting to plant a Sooners flag on the Buckeyes logo in the middle of their home field.

Mayfield apologized for his actions two days later but said earlier this year that he was forced by his university to do so and he really wasn’t sorry at all.

Bosa, who was in the locker room with his Buckeyes teammates when Mayfield pulled his stunt, celebrated one of his two sacks Monday night by pretending to plant a flag in the middle of the field.

“I think everybody knows what that was for,” said Bosa, who also planted a real 49ers flag in an end zone after the game. ”Just wanted to get payback. He had it coming.”

Following the game, Mayfield was not asked about anything that may or may not have happened during the coin toss, but a reporter did inquire about his thoughts on Bosa’s post-sack celebration.

Mayfield gave credit where it was due.

“Good for him,” he said of Bosa. “Good play.”