A Baker Mayfield trade is one of the last notable dominos left to fall in the 2022 NFL offseason. While the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner does have the same league-wide respect as former Pro Bowlers like Matt Ryan and Deshaun Watson, he would still be an upgrade for several teams with lackluster quarterback options.
One team that seems to be at a QB crossroads is the New York Giants. Heading into the upcoming season they are likely to have a signal-caller competition in camp between the incumbent, and former first-round draft choice, Daniel Jones, and recent free-agent addition QB Tyrod Taylor. Barring a career renaissance, neither Jones of Taylor is likely to take the Giants to the playoffs.
Considering their current situation at QB and a season with very low expectations, in year one of the Joe Shoen and Brian Daboll regime, a move for the expendable Mayfield makes sense for the “G-Men.” With that in mind, here are three reasons why the Giants can and should make a Baker Mayfield trade happen.
Why not Baker Mayfield in a single-season tryout?
New York has shown little confidence they believe the 2019 first-round pick will be their starter in 2023 and beyond. That is why his $22 million team option for next season has not been picked up. However, they haven’t totally given up on him and head coach Brian Daboll is willing to attempt a rebuild of the Duke product. But, if this is essentially a one-year prove-it season for Jones, why not do that with a player who has actually had multi-year success in the NFL?
- Baker Mayfield stats (2021): 3,010 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, 13 interceptions
Mayfield’s flaws are well documented but he is still just 26 and has led an 11-5 team during his tenure with the Cleveland Browns. That is nearly more wins in one season than Jones has had his entire NFL career. Not to mention Mayfield has put up far better stats than Jones for a franchise that seems perpetually jinxed. If the Giants head into 2022 with no long-term QB plan and a strong backup in Taylor, Mayfield would be a far more viable and entertaining season-long tryout option than Jones.
New York Giants can offer Bradberry or Barkley in trade return
Earlier this week, reports stated that Brown General Manager Andrew Berry had a reality check, realized he has little leverage, and lowered his asking price for Mayfield. The Giants have two first, third, and fifth-round selections in April. A combo of any of those excess picks would be a solid haul for Berry. However, “Big Blue” also can send back Pro Bowl talent with comparable cap numbers.
Both cornerback James Bradberry and running back Saquan Barkley is on the block. Both have been Pro Bowl talents in recent years and could be very helpful additions to a Browns’ crew that has big hopes with Deshaun Watson now leading the way. Picks and either of those men and Daniel Jones would be a great return for Berry for a QB he doesn’t need anymore.
For the Giants, they may not get the cap space they were hoping for, but they land an improvement at the most important position on the field and energize the hopes for a season that isn’t promising currently.
Baker Mayfield trade brings energy to a low-expectation rebuild season
Speaking of energizing the season, that is exactly what this trade would do for the Giants. No self-respected New York fan is pumped for another year of Jones, or the possibility of Taylor, taking major snaps in 2022. While Mayfield may land in the first overall-pick bust basket after this season, his passion and upside on a one-year prove-it deal is something the “Big Apple” can get behind.
- Baker Mayfield contract: 1-year, $18.9 million
The New York media would surely enjoy covering Mayfield for the final season on his current deal, and Daboll would have a better chance of showcasing his offensive talents in a Mayfield reclamation project as opposed to Jones. It is a move that really needs to happen, and now.