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Rams’ Baker Mayfield views himself as a starter, but won’t ‘chase a check’ to do it

Riverside Press-Enterprise logo Riverside Press-Enterprise 1/9/2023 Gilbert Manzano, The Press-Enterprise

SEATTLE —Sean McVay’s future had the spotlight after the Rams fell short against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday during the regular-season finale, but many with the team are unsure about whether they’ll be back for next season, including quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Mayfield abruptly headed to Southern California on Dec. 6 after being waived by the Carolina Panthers and claimed by the Rams. It was a short stint, but he had many memorable moments throughout his five starts, including a comeback victory against the Las Vegas Raiders 40 hours after joining McVay and the Rams.

McVay declined to discuss his future as it relates to him possibly leaving the Rams to accept a TV analyst job. Mayfield, a pending free agent, offered more about his uncertain future. The Rams were in need of a quarterback because starter Matthew Stafford suffered a season-ending neck injury during Week 11 against the New Orleans Saints.

“To be honest with you, last month and a half has been so dang crazy for me,” said Mayfield, the former No. 1 overall pick who was in need of a fresh start. “I miss my wife. I miss my puppy. Going to take some time just to decompress a little bit. Going to take some time away. I’m thankful for my time here. This place has been unbelievable for me.

“I think I’m going to look back and be really, really grateful for the short time period and the things I learned. We’ll see what happens. I have no idea. Luckily, I’ve got a few months for that, but I’m going to take some time just to decompress.”

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Mayfield said he views himself as a starting quarterback and he likely gained attention from quarterback-needy teams with the way he performed with the Rams, but Mayfield said he will prioritize best fit over a starting job.

“It’s gotta be the best opportunity for me,” Mayfield said. “I’m not gonna go chase a check to go start and play after seeing a place that makes me have fun playing football again. It’s going to be hard to try something else new, but it’s going to be a big-time decision. So there’s going to be a lot of thought put into it.

“I know I’m good enough to be a starting quarterback. I have no doubt about that.”


Rams rookie safety Russ Yeast left the game with a pulmonary contusion and was sent to the hospital, but McVay said he’s in stable condition and will stay there overnight out of precaution.

“We’ll pray for him, but he’s going to be OK,” McVay said. “I’ve gotten good news on what we know is not something that you take lightly.”

Yeast, a seventh-round pick from Kansas State, made his first career start on Sunday versus the Seahawks. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey, defensive backs coach Jonathan Cooley and pass game coordinator Chris Shula went to the hospital to be with Yeast.

“Just wishing the best for him,” Rams rookie safety Quentin Lake said. “Obviously, he had his first career start going into this game, which was awesome for him. I was happy for him, but overall, we just hope he’s healthy. Sending prayers to him.”


Rams middle linebacker Bobby Wagner said he felt plenty of emotions before and after the game against his former team of 10 years.

“It’s always love here,” Wagner said about Seahawks fans. “It’s always been that way and it will forever be that way.”

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