Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has insisted his comments about Daniel Jones that appeared in a GQ Magazine story and created a controversy this week were taken out of context and not meant to slam the rookie QB of the New York Giants.
Mayfield also extended an olive branch, and Jones accepted it.
"I certainly appreciated him reaching out," Jones said Thursday night after the Giants' 25-23 preseason win over the Cincinnati Bengals, according to the New York Post. "I realize he said that a long time ago and there's no telling how he said it and I trust him."
Jones said Mayfield explained GQ's portrayal of his remarks "was just a miscommunication and a misrepresentation of what he said. I told him it was all good and no worries."
Mayfield also contacted friend and Giants running back Saquon Barkley to ensure Jones received the message.
"Baker reached out to me," Barkley said via the New York Post. "Through a mutual friend, he got Daniel's number and sent Daniel a text and basically, just in case he didn't have the right number, or he switched his number, he had said, 'Can you make sure Daniel gets this?' That was really it."
The GQ story, which published online Tuesday, describes Mayfield seeing Jones, the sixth overall pick in April's draft, appear on TV at a Cleveland-area restaurant and saying, "I cannot believe the Giants took Daniel Jones. Blows my mind."
GQ staff writer Clay Skipper wrote he then told Mayfield he was "mystified that so many supposedly expert quarterback scouts seem unable to predict what makes a good NFL quarterback."
Skipper quoted Mayfield's response as, "Some people overthink it. That's where people go wrong. They forget you've gotta win."
The Giants were widely criticized for drafting Jones so early after he went 17-19 as a three-year starter at Duke University.
But Mayfield said Wednesday he never intended to take a shot at Jones and he had texted Jones to let him know as much.
"It seemed very disrespectful, and I can understand that," Mayfield said. "But what people didn’t realize is the conversation entailed of me saying I was surprised that I was drafted No. 1 overall [in 2018], too, and then me going on a rant after that about QB evaluation, and then me [expressing] frustration from recruiting processes and stuff that I’ve had.
"It’s very well documented my thoughts on a lot of that. So it had nothing to do specifically about Daniel, about the winning and stuff. But I reached out to Daniel because all that blew way out of hand, and I wanted him to know how I felt."
Mayfield said Jones handled their text exchange well.
"He was very nice," Mayfield said. "Everything that people have said about him, he was cordial, he said, 'No worries, man.'"
Nate Ulrich can be reached at email@example.com. Read his Browns coverage at www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ByNateUlrich and on Facebook www.facebook.com/abj.sports.