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No. 1 pick Baker Mayfield signs contract, avoids holdout

Baker Mayfield was a two-time walk-on in college.

He won’t be a rookie holdout in the NFL.

Mayfield, the No. 1 pick in the draft, signed his first NFL contract Tuesday night. He’ll be in Berea when the players report Wednesday for training camp and on the field for the first practice Thursday.

Mayfield’s four-year contract is worth approximately $33 million, including a $22 million signing bonus, according to the rookie wage scale. Teams have a fifth-year option for all first-round picks.

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“Thankful for all the blessings and everybody that helped make this possible!!!” Mayfield posted on social media with the picture of him signing the deal. “Time to go to work!! @ Cleveland Browns”

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Cornerback Denzel Ward, the No. 4 pick, is the only one of Cleveland’s nine draft choices left unsigned. The Nordonia High and Ohio State alum can still beat the deadline to report.

Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy as a senior at Oklahoma, where he started 39 games. He walked on to the Sooners after transferring from Texas Tech, where he walked on and became the starter as a true freshman.

He threw for 14,607 yards and 131 touchdowns in college, rushing 404 times for 1,083 yards and 21 touchdowns.

His career 175.4 passing efficiency rating is second in FBS history. He’s third in yards per attempt (9.7), tied for fourth in touchdown passes (131), fifth in total offense (15,690) and seventh in passing yards (14,607).

Despite the attention and accolades, Mayfield enters training camp as a backup to veteran Tyrod Taylor. Anything can happen with six weeks until the start of the regular season, but Taylor seems locked in as the starter, so Mayfield is expected to open the season on the sideline.

Mayfield reportedly agreed to offset language in his contract, which would prevent him from being paid by the Browns and another team in the improbability he was cut before the end of the deal and signed elsewhere.

Browns writer for The Chronicle-Telegram and The Medina Gazette. Proud graduate of Northwestern University. Husband and stepdad. Avid golfer who needs to hit the range to get down to a single-digit handicap. Right about Johnny Manziel, wrong about Brandon Weeden. Contact Scott at 440-329-7253, or email and follow him on and Twitter.

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