We have not heard a whole lot on the Baker Mayfield trade front over the past few weeks. At least initially, it seemed as if Mayfield would be moved by the Cleveland Browns after their blockbuster acquisition of Deshaun Watson.
Coming off an injury-plagued and disappointing 2021 season, interest in Mayfield’s services has been limited. That could now change with the 2022 NFL Draft upon us.
“As the 2022 NFL Draft kicks off tonight, a handful of teams have expressed interest in trading for Baker Mayfield and the Browns could move him over the next few days.
The Panthers are one of those teams, and the Seahawks might be another. But there are a couple of teams that haven’t yet been identified who could come forward over the weekend depending on how the draft falls.”Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot on potential Baker Mayfield trade
The Seahawks and Panthers have been bandied about the most when it comes to a trade for Mayfield. Seattle dealt away franchise quarterback Russell Wilson in a blockbuster with the Denve Broncos earlier in the offseason. Carolina’s brass has indicated that it is sold on the struggling Sam Darnold. But that seems to be PR spin more than anything else. Mayfield would be a market upgrade over Darnold. It’s not close.
- Baker Mayfield stats (career): 62% completion, 14,125 passing yards, 92 TD, 56 INT
- Sam Darnold stats (career): 60% completino, 10,624 passing yards, 54 TD, 52 INT
What is the hold up in Baker Mayfield trade talks?
It’s rather simple. Opposing teams know that they have leverage after Cleveland acquired the aforementioned Watson from the Houston Texans. In short, there’s no reasonable expectation that Mayfield will be on the Cleveland Browns’ roster come Week 1.
There’s also this whole salary thing that must be taken into account. By picking up the fifth-year option on Mayfield’s rookie deal, the Browns have found themselves in an unenviable position.
- Baker Mayfield contract: $18.86 million cap hit in 2022; free agent in 2023
Is any team willing to pay that much for a quarterback who is coming off a down season? Apparently, the Texans have some interest in both Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo. However, that likely wouldn’t come until after the 2022 NFL Draft.
As for potential compensation, Cleveland likely isn’t looking at more than a mid-round pick in return. If any deal goes down, it will likely have on Friday.
Stay tuned. This is one of the biggest storylines with the 2022 NFL Draft approaching within the next few hours.