Who goes first?
Baker Mayfield‘s camp is in no hurry to get the quarterback a mega extension. Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports the Browns and Mayfield’s representation have had no substantive talks and negotiations could stretch into the season.
“The lines of communication between the Browns and Tom Mills, Mayfield’s chief negotiator, and his father, Jack Mills, are open, but they haven’t exchanged proposals yet,” Cabot writes.
Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen, who were in the same 2018 draft class, also are eligible for extensions. No one wants to go before Jackson, who is representing himself along with help from his mother.
If Jackson gets a deal not to the liking of the agents for Allen or Mayfield, the agents for Allen and Mayfield can write it off as an aberration. If Jackson gets the current market value, Allen and Mayfield’s representation can use it to get more.
Jackson has a league MVP award and made the All-Pro team in 2019. Allen made the Pro Bowl in 2020 and started in the AFC Championship Game. Mayfield, 26, led the Browns to the postseason in 2020 and upset the Steelers in the wild-card round.
The Browns have picked up Mayfield’s fifth-year option worth $18.858 million in 2022, so the team has time on its side, too.
The Browns will get Mayfield signed to a long-term deal at some point. The only question is: When?