Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield had some choice words to describe what he plans to do with his former team when Carolina faces the Cleveland Browns in Week 1.
According to Buffalo Bills sideline reporter Cynthia Frelund, Mayfield told her, “I’m gonna [expletive] them up” during a postgame conversation following the Panthers’ 21-0 victory last Friday at Bank of America Stadium.
Frelund shared details of her chat with Mayfield while appearing on an episode of the Around the NFL podcast, posted on Monday night, alongside Dan Hanzus, Marc Sessler and Gregg Rosenthal. Frelund also works for NFL Network as an analytics expert.
Before detailing the conversation, Hanzus asked Frelund about her interaction with Mayfield.
“You ran into Baker Mayfield, the former Browns quarterback, recently,” Hanzus said. “I was hoping you could share an exchange that you had.”
Frelund responded by sharing her on-field interaction with Mayfield after the preseason finale between the Panthers and Bills.
“I was like, ‘Kick some butt.’ I didn’t say that word,” she said laughing, as she recounted her conversation with Mayfield. “… Go kick some butt, especially Week 1, I like can’t wait. And he uses some expletives. … He’s like, ‘I’m gonna bleep them up.”
Hanzus asked Frelund, “‘I’m gonna f*** them up.’ Is that what his quote was?”
In response, Frelund said, “I don’t say curse words on air. I don’t want to get in trouble.”
Hanzus again asked Frelund, “But was that the quote?” She answered “yes.”
A Panthers spokesperson said Tuesday neither the team nor Mayfield will be available to speak publicly until their next scheduled availability on Wednesday.
Also Tuesday, Frelund responded to the fervor over the comments on Twitter.
“Oh boy, this is silly,” she wrote. “Don’t make this more than it is. I was wishing him good luck, colorfully. He agreed with me, colorfully. What do you expect anyone to do in this situation…”
Mayfield was recently named the Panthers starting quarterback after the team acquired him from the Browns in early July for a conditional fifth-round pick. Mayfield agreed to trim $3.5 million off his $18.9 million base salary to join Carolina. The Browns are paying $10.5 million of his contract while the Panthers took on about $5 million.
Since arriving in Charlotte, Mayfield quickly established himself as QB 1. Panthers coach Matt Rhule said he’s been impressed with how fast Mayfield picked up Ben McAdoo’s offense.
The team is embracing his leadership. On Monday, center Bradley Bozeman said Mayfield is “a guy you want to play for.”
In his most recent public comments, on Aug. 22, Mayfield acknowledged the game against the Browns on Sept. 11 will be more than “just a game.”
“Not going to sit here and be a robot and say it doesn’t mean anything,” Mayfield said at the time. “It will.”
Back in July, general manager Scott Fitterer said he consulted a lot of people about Mayfield before trading for him. He said the team heard enough good things to feel comfortable acquiring Mayfield, the top pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
“A lot of people really went to bat for Baker,” Fitterer said. “I think there are a lot of circumstances with why things happen. … But we’re very comfortable with Baker. We’re excited to add him to the room and look forward to working with him.”
Since adding him to the room, the Panthers have lost rookie quarterback Matt Corral and backup Sam Darnold for extended time. Corral was placed on injured reserve with a Lisfranc injury and Darnold hurt his ankle against Buffalo. Rhule said the team expects him out at least four weeks.
With 53-man rosters due at 4 pm Tuesday, Mayfield and PJ Walker are the only healthy Panthers quarterbacks at practice. Rhule said the team will start preparing for their game against the Browns after cuts are made.
Carolina opens its season against the Browns on Sept. 11 at Bank of America Stadium.
This story was originally published August 30, 2022 2:32 AM.