The story is as old as time; a high-profile pro athlete invests millions into companies owned by friends and family, and it somehow evaporates.  NFL quarterback and former Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield is the latest dealing with this painful and awkward reality. 

As if he doesn’t have enough on his plate as he tries to succeed the incomparable GOAT Tom Brady as starting quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Mayfield is in the middle of a financial quagmire. 

A report by KXAN in Austin, Texas, brings to light what is happening in the Mayfield family. Baker and his wife Emily petitioned a court in Austin to begin depositions for a lawsuit against six companies.  The sticky part of this story is that Baker’s father, James Mayfield, founded two of those companies. 

Baker and his wife are looking for the financial reports from 2018 to 2023 so they can see what happened to the $12 million they invested in Camwood Capital Management Group LLC and Camwood Ventures LP. The quarterback’s lawyers want to determine if that small fortune “has been properly and competently invested, has been stolen or otherwise misappropriated, or something in between.”

The petition is not a lawsuit, yet.  A formal suit could happen, depending on how cooperative the other side is in revealing the financials. 

Baker Mayfield allowed Camwood Capital, one of his father’s companies, to manage his brand and finances since he was a star at Oklahoma. Here’s a quote published in The Athletic in 2019 from Baker Mayfield about his financial game plan.  “Protecting the money we’re earning is No. 1. I’ve always been one to save it. For me, it’s protecting the money by surrounding yourself with good people.”

The younger Mayfield was the top pick in the 2018 draft and signed a four-year, $32 million contract with the Cleveland Browns. He’s made millions more since leaving the Browns and is trying to revive his career in Tampa. 

The situation with his father is just beginning and could potentially turn into a cautionary tale for future sports stars. 

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