Tragic Details About Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield has been hitting the headlines after being claimed by the Los Angeles Rams following his notorious trade to the Carolina Panthers in 2022. The Panthers deal came after he was first drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 2018 — only to be released by the Panthers before the season had even come to an end following a disappointing run for the team.

Many fans may best remember Mayfield for the seriously sad note he posted to Twitter amid his Browns to Panthers trade, in which he essentially poured his heart out to the Browns and the team's fans. "With many uncertainties, here is where my head and heart is," he captioned the letter, in which he wrote, in part, "The past four years have been nothing short of truly life changing since I heard my name called in the draft to go to Cleveland. This is not a message of hidden meaning. This is strictly to thank the city of Cleveland for embracing my family and me."

But his sadness at saying goodbye to Cleveland was nothing compared to some of the serious tragedies this athlete has had to face in his life.

Baker Mayfield almost lost his mom and aunt in a car accident

Baker Mayfield and his family faced a serious tragedy in 2015 when he almost lost his mom, Gina Mayfield, and aunt, Kristi Brooks, in 2015 following a car crash that killed three people, including family friend Adrienne Davis. The crash happened in South Carolina when the three women and another friend were on a road trip, per The Oklahoman. Sadly, the fun girls trip turned into tragedy when they never made it to their destination. Another car crossed over from the other side of the road and hit the vehicle Davis was driving, causing it to flip over and leave the road. The group was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries and Davis sadly died as a result of the collision, while the two people in the other car also died.

Thankfully, Gina recovered and shared that the accident actually brought her closer to her family, who took turns caring for her. "Every moment is precious. I think it's going to be that way for quite awhile. I hope I don't lose that perspective," she said.

It seems Gina has been doing better in the years since the horrific accident, as Baker shared adorable photos on Instagram posing with his mom for Mother's Day in 2021. "Love ya mom, thanks for not having any more kids and making me a middle child," he joked in the caption, in part.

The Mayfields lost a fan who became a close friend

Baker Mayfield and his wife, Emily Mayfield, experienced the sad death of Tom Seipel in February 2021. Seipel was a big Cleveland Browns fan who they got close to when going out of their way to get him to one final game before kidney cancer took over his body. Despite tight restrictions on fans attending games due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the couple provided him with a suite to watch the Browns take on the Pittsburgh Steelers, per He also revealed that Emily kept in constant close contact with him after offering up her suite and would regularly message him to ask him how he was feeling.

That special gift came after Baker sent Seipel a sweet video message the latter posted to Instagram in December 2020. "[I] was just reading up on your story. You're extremely inspirational, man, you're a warrior. Just want to say, keep fighting, appreciate your support and we'll see what happens when we get into the playoffs," Baker said in the clip. "We'll see if we can make those dreams come true, bud. We'll be praying for you man, hang in there. Go Browns!"

After Seipel died, Baker took to Twitter to pay tribute to his fallen friend. He quoted a tweet from that told the fan's heartwarming story, adding, "Rest In Peace Tom. Your pure heart will never be forgotten."

He and his wife's scary death threats

Social media has its good and its bad points, and Baker Mayfield sadly learned the hard way about the latter. In December 2021, he revealed he and his wife, Emily Mayfield, had been receiving death threats online, as he explained that he found the messages directed at his wife harder to deal with than his own.

"It's hard when it comes down to somebody that you love and you care about. She's not able to change any of the outcomes to the game at all," he said of the threats aimed at his wife, per Bleacher Report, pointing out that Emily has nothing to do with the game. "When you talk about taking your own life, killing somebody or all of that, that to me is ignorance, but I try not to listen to it because those are not the people who I would listen to whether it was good or bad regardless," he continued, noting that law enforcement had become involved to try and catch those behind the messages. Perhaps the most tragic part of all? Baker actually admitted, per ESPN, that being threatened wasn't even a new experience for him and it had become such an everyday occurrence that he didn't even pay too much attention to the messages anymore.

Emily also addressed the hate, writing on her Instagram Story (via ESPN), "The death threats, lies being told about my husband, and blatant DISRESPECT never ceases to amaze me."

The sad death of Baker Mayfield's four-legged friend

The death of a beloved pet is never easy, and Baker Mayfield heartbreakingly mourned the passing of every Cleveland Browns supporter's pet in February 2020. The team had a real-life mascot in Swagger, a Bullmastiff, who started representing the team in 2014 when he was just a puppy, per the Cleveland Browns. Sadly, Swagger passed away after being diagnosed with cancer.

No doubt one of the saddest to see Swagger go was Mayfield, who shared a touching tribute to the dog on Instagram. The football player posted two photos showing him posing with the late dog, which were taken during a photoshoot for ESPN Front Row where he admitted he's a big dog lover. "We love you and we'll miss you. Doggy heaven got a good one today," Mayfield, who had dogs in his family growing up, captioned the upload.

The Cleveland Browns also paid tribute to the beloved pooch, writing on Twitter, "We're heartbroken by the passing of our beloved mascot, Swagger. As a constant presence on gameday and the leader of the Dawg Pound, Swagger was a proud member of our team for 6 seasons. RIP."

He 'lost' himself after his successful college football career

Baker Mayfield has admitted that he found it difficult to go from seeing so much success as a high school and college football player to playing in the NFL, where the stakes are that much higher. He revealed that he struggled to find his place and stay positive when things didn't go his way, explaining to in August 2020, "Going and having success all through high school and college and having that standard so high and then the past couple years have been a rollercoaster of emotions and not nearly as much success as I am used to." Mayfield explained that he felt he no longer knew who he was amid the massive change in his life. "I would say I lost myself not having that success, not finding out what was working," he said. "I tried different ways of trying to have that success, and I didn't find it. I lost myself in that, and I wasn't able to be who I am for these guys on the team."

Of course, Mayfield had a lot of pressure on his shoulders when he joined the Cleveland Browns as the first overall pick in the 2018 draft after showing his skills for Texas Tech before transferring to The University of Oklahoma. He had a slew of achievements to his name, including having the best competition percentage in the latter's college career history.

The sudden loss of an idol affected him

Many were affected by the horrifically tragic death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant, with people all over the world feeling a personal connection to the star. Baker Mayfield was one of those, describing the day Bryant died in January 2020 as one of the saddest of his life. Mayfield posted a heart-wrenching tribute to his fellow athlete on Instagram after he died in a helicopter crash, explaining Bryant had a big impact on him. He even revealed the basketballer inspired him to make his first business acquisition, writing, in part, "My heart truly hurts because he's gone way too soon and it hurts because he is a family man." In the Instagram message, Mayfield also touched on a time he got to meet Bryant in 2018, with reporting the basketball superstar visited the Cleveland Browns hotel before a game and spent about an hour chatting with the team.

Mayfield also paid tribute on Twitter, writing in an emotional tweet, in part, "Kobe you were my idol... period. Mentality through and through."

In November 2021, Mayfield proved Bryant was still very much with him as he shared how the former Laker influenced his mentality during a football game. "It's the type of sick, twisted mindset that I've idolized — guys like Kobe and Mike Tyson, people that when they have their back against the wall, the best comes out and you see what somebody's made of," Mayfield shared during a Browns press conference.

Baker Mayfield's ankle injury had sad consequences

Baker Mayfield suffered a difficult ankle injury in October 2022 that not only was pretty darn painful, but also had a harsh impact on his career. The Sporting News reported Mayfield had twisted his ankle during the game to such an extent that he had to wear a boot, and Mayfield then ended up losing out on his prestigious starting spot as QB one for the Carolina Panthers. The honor instead went to his teammate, P.J. Walker, who was fully healthy.

Mayfield downplayed the sad reality of being downgraded to his QB two position, but was no doubt pretty devastated to lose out on the role most football players dream of. "It's one of those things. It's one of those new things. You just have to roll with the punches. It's not my plan, obviously. I'm a competitor, but I'm rolling with the punches to help this team out in any way I can," he told Sports Illustrated. "I came here to win. If it's my role to help PJ out from the sideline and help this defense out with scout team stuff, I'm gonna do it. And I'm gonna do it with everything I can."

His response to the scrutiny

There's no doubting that athletes on social media leave themselves open to a lot of scrutiny, and that's no different for Baker Mayfield. The football star announced in January 2022 that he needed a break from all the online interaction in order to focus on his mental health and his family. Mayfield told fans via his Instagram Story that he would be stepping away from social media for a while, as he explained, "Gotta do what's best to focus on me, my family, and my loved ones. Appreciate all the support. Time to get right." 

Mayfield had previously tweeted about struggling with social media backlash just two days before he announced his hiatus, writing, "Social media is toxic. Always kept my circle tight. Time to get back to that. Family and loved ones only."

Mayfield eventually returned to Instagram in March 2022 following a two-month hiatus from posting to his grid, which is when he shared his viral message to the Cleveland Browns and the team's fans.