Mayfield, Barkley Place Wager on Offensive Rookie of the Year Award

Mayfield, Barkley Place Wager on Offensive Rookie of the Year Award article feature image
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Pictured: Baker Mayfield and Saquon Barkley

  • Baker Mayfield and Saquon Barkley have made a friendly bet on which player will win AP Offensive Rookie of the Year.
  • The award will be announced at Saturday's NFL Honors show.
  • Barkley was named the Pepsi Rookie of the Year on Thursday, a fan-voted award.

On Thursday morning, Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley was named the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year. While certainly a notable achievement, the Pepsi award is determined via fan vote, and isn’t really considered the true determinant of the year’s best rookie.

That “real” award, of course, would be the Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year, announced at Saturday’s NFL Honors show. If Barkley is going to take that one too, he’ll have to earn more votes than former Heisman winner Baker Mayfield, who led the Browns to a 7-8-1 record following a winless 2017 campaign.

For front-runners Mayfield and Barkley, there’ll be a bit more than just a cool trophy and a name in the record books at stake.

The quarterback and running back, who went first and second overall in last year’s draft, respectively, have placed a little wager on who will actually win the award.

As for the stakes of the bet: a chain.

Barkley told Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot, “The loser’s got to get someone else a chain. We get to pick the chain and we get to have fun with it because obviously everyone’s talking about who’s going to win, and at the end of the day we’d love to see each other win, but we’d also love to see ourselves win too, but we made a little bet with it just to show how friendly we are that it’s bigger than just the award.’’

Barkley finished the year second in the NFL with 1,307 rushing yards, and his 11 touchdowns ranked fifth. While Baker (17th and 11th in pass yards and TDs, respectively) wasn’t quite the fantasy stud that Barkley was, he gets most of the credit for Cleveland’s incredible turnaround.

In any other year, they’d probably both be obvious choices for the award. For Saturday, it’s anyone’s guess who is buying that chain.