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Baker Mayfield expected to be traded before draft, Browns may have to pay portion of 2022 salary

Andrew Buller-Russ

What’s going on with Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns? Obviously they’d like to trade the 2018 No. 1 overall pick to a new team, but that’s easier said than done.

No, it’s not because no one is interested in adding Mayfield the player. Instead, it’s because no one wants to add Mayfield’s fully guaranteed contract to their 2022 books. Or maybe it’s because no one wants to pony up to Cleveland’s current demands.

Previously it had been believed the Browns were looking for something close to a second-round pick, without being willing to pay any of his fifth-year option, but now that could be changing after making little progress in trade talks.

NFL insider suggests Browns will have to take on part of Baker Mayfield’s salary

At this point, the Browns likely don’t have a choice. If they want to avoid paying the full contract amount for Mayfield, they’re going to have to either kick in a draft pick or pay part of his salary to get a deal done. At least, that’s what Ian Rapoport of NFL Network suggests.

Since the Browns picked up Mayfield’s fifth-year option, his 2022 salary is fully guaranteed, which is scaring some teams away. One way the Browns could mitigate this is by offering to pay a portion of his current cost.

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It shouldn’t be a big factor preventing general manager Andrew Berry from getting a trade consummated, they may just be holding out for the most value possible. After trading six draft picks for Deshaun Watson, they likely don’t want to have to part with another simply to remove a player from their roster.

Rapoport went on to mention his belief in the Browns to get a Mayfield trade completed soon, but definitely before the 2022 NFL Draft begins on April 28.

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