The 2022 NFL offseason has been full of trades and player movement, but there are two big roster decisions that have yet to be made. Aside from future surprises around the league elsewhere, two moves fans can expect to see are the Cleveland Browns eventually parting ways with Baker Mayfield and the same with the San Francisco 49ers moving on from Jimmy Garoppolo.
Months ago it had been widely assumed both players could easily be dealt for some form of trade compensation, but once the draft came and went, both teams’ ability to improve their rosters for the 2022 season took a hit. Now several NFL execs expect the Browns and 49ers to end up releasing both players from their contracts, allowing them to hit free agency, with no takers emerging thus far.
Baker Mayfield, Jimmy G are in similar, but different spots
While both situations are unique from one another in several aspects whether it be a fully guaranteed contract in Mayfield’s case plus an undetermined suspension for Deshaun Watson which could actually create a massive need for Cleveland to have a better QB than Jacoby Brissett. But I digress.
And in San Fran’s case, having Garoppolo on hand makes it nearly impossible to hand the keys to the offense and the locker room entirely to Trey Lance, so Jimmy G needs to go, one way or another.
For the 49ers, they can simply release Garoppolo and cost themselves just $1.4 million in dead salary on their 2022 cap. That’s not the case for the Browns, who would incur an $18.8 million penalty for releasing Mayfield.
Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers most linked to Baker Mayfield, Jimmy Garoppolo
But then again, these are both starting-caliber quarterbacks in the NFL, why should either team simply release them for absolutely no compensation. It won’t take long for either player to get scooped up by another team in a new city.
ESPN’s Dan Graziano has had the chance to talk with several NFL executives and he says the “majority of the people to whom I spoke believe both Baker Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo will end up being released“
While he suggested Garoppolo’s pending status with his team has fewer strings attached, believing a trade for Jimmy G is more likely than Mayfield, he came away expecting both players to be set free.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN continues to state an expectation for the Carolina Panthers to have more interest in Garoppolo, and for the Seattle Seahawks to be more intrigued by Mayfield.
We’ll see if another team steps up to the plate with an interest in trading for either QB as training camps continue to draw closer and closer.