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Will Baker Mayfield lead Panthers to Week 1 win against Browns?

It’s a new day for Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield.

And as a new month gives way to a new NFL season, Mayfield is anxious to right his past wrongs as a pro signal-caller, and make magic with his new team.

Ironically, his first chance to do so will come against the franchise that first made him a pro. 

But Mayfield’s not concerned with the fact that his Week 1 foe has familiarity with him. In fact, Mayfield brazenly declared that he was going to “f*** up” his former squad in their season-opening meeting, according to reports.

Mayfield has denied using that exact verbiage, but he has asserted that he’s hellbent to down the Browns, claiming that they “100% disrespected” him when they pursued Deshaun Watson for their QB1 slot. And in the mind of “Undisputed” cohost Skip Bayless, Mayfield’s going to accomplish exactly what he sets out to on Sunday.

“[The Panthers] saw the light [with Baker Mayfield],” Bayless said on Monday’s “Undisputed.” “They’re no longer a clown show.

“They said, ‘The only way that [head coach] Matt Rhule is going to save his job sitting on the hottest seat in pro football, is if he goes with the lightning rod.’ Charisma, fire, passion — that’s Baker Mayfield. Browns open as a 3.5-point favorite, and now all of a sudden, they’re a 2.5-point underdog. That’s a six-point swing. … It’s because of Baker Mayfield.”

Bayless went on to sing Cleveland’s praises for acquiring Mayfield.

“[The deal] was the steal of the century,” he said. “They got him for a conditional fifth-round pick in 2024. Are you kidding me? And Baker said … ‘I want to go there for you. And I’ll take a $3.5 million pay cut … I’m going to be your lightning rod.'”

Bayless’ cohost wasn’t moved by Mayfield’s comments.

“I still believe the Browns will win this game despite the significant drop-off between Jacoby Brissett and Deshaun Watson,” Shannon Sharpe said. “And I believe that is why the line has swung as much as it has.”

“If Deshaun Watson was the quarterback, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Browns were favored by at least four points, maybe even six-to-seven,” he added. ” … I believe Cleveland is going to win, and I believe they’re going to take it out of Jacoby Brissett’s hands, and rely heavily on Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.”

Carolina takes on Cleveland Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

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