It was previously noted that the former Heisman winner at Oklahoma was not in a rush to sign said extension. Common sense also seemed to dictate that the Browns might want to see more out of him in 2021 before committing long-term to the signal caller. After all, Mayfield struggled through his first two NFL seasons before breaking out big time during the 2020 campaign.
According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (h/t Bleacher Report), there’s some around the NFL who believe Baker Mayfield will ink his extension before the aforementioned Allen or Jackson. There’s a pretty simple premise behind this belief.
“So some people around the league believe this could get done the soonest because Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen are mostly top-five-to-seven quarterbacks. They’re considered high-end guys, where Baker is still working his way into that. Maybe a bit of a different market could be easier to get done.
Indeed. Mayfield has not been anywhere near the same caliber quarterback as Jackson or Allen over the course of his first three seasons. The stats speak to this.
- Baker Mayfield: 61.9% completion, 11,115 passing yards, 79 total touchdowns, 43 interceptions
- Lamar Jackson: 64.0% completion, 7,085 passing yards, 2,906 rushing yards, 87 total touchdowns, 18 interceptions
- Josh Allen: 61.8% completion, 9,707 passing yards, 1,562 rushing yards, 92 total touchdowns, 31 interceptions
With that said, Mayfield did turn things around en route to leading Cleveland to a playoff appearance this past season. The former No. 1 pick completed 62.8% of his passes for 3,563 yards with 26 touchdowns and a mere eight interceptions.
Baker Mayfield contract value
Assuming the Browns don’t view Mayfield as a top-five quarterback, a potential extension becomes less difficult to navigate. He’s probably looking at something similar to the $33 million Kirk Cousins is earning annually on his current contract with the Minnesota Vikings.
However, the structure would be a bit different. With the exception of Patrick Mahomes, young quarterbacks have opted for shorter contracts. Deshaun Watson inked a four-year extension with the Houston Texans last September. Former top picks Carson Wentz and Jared Goff signed five-year extensions when they became eligible.
So, something to the tune of five years at $165 million could be in the cards here. That would likely include roughly $60 million in fully guaranteed cash.
Then again, there’s a chance that Baker Mayfield and the Browns could table these discussions until after the 2021 season. They are seen as top-end Super Bowl contenders after a brilliant 2020 campaign. Should Mayfield improve even more this coming fall and winter, he could end up being in the conversation as a top-five paid quarterback.
Given the market dynamics in play, that would likely come in at $40 million annually — similar to the deal Dak Prescott inked with the Dallas Cowboys earlier in the offseason. Perhaps, Mayfield will bet on himself. It’s certainly a risk.