Bills quarterback Josh Allen broke the bank on Friday. Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield also is due for a new, potential bank-breaking deal.
After news broke of Allen’s contract, Browns G.M. Andrew Berry appeared on ESPN Cleveland to discuss the potential impact of Allen’s deal on Mayfield.
“I think really for any player or any positional market we’re always aware of the deals that have been done over the past couple years and certainly any new deals that come up over the next couple weeks because we realize that it impacts the market to some degree,” Berry said. “But at the same time with any player that we’re considering extending we really deal with it on a case by case and individual level and really operate within the parameters that we think make sense for our organization and our team and that’s what we’ll continue to do across positions.”
Several years ago, the next quarterback up for a new deal typically got a little more than the last quarterback received. As these deals get bigger and more complicated, that presumption has faded. Now, teams do indeed look more at the player and less at the fact that the next man up automatically nudges the bar higher.
Objectively, Allen is more accomplished than Mayfield. The notion that Allen’s deal should be the baseline for Mayfield therefore may not be accepted by the Browns.
Mayfield may not like that. And he may react by committing himself to being even better in 2021 than he’s been, and then by wanting even more in 2022.
That’s the risk a team assumes by waiting. In Mayfield’s case, however, his full body of work suggests that it makes sense to give it another season. For the Bills, it made sense to sign Allen now.
Whatever the details eventually may be, it won’t be cheap for the Browns to keep Mayfield over the long haul. The question becomes whether, once the deal is done, the Browns will be vindicated for the expense — or whether they’ll eventually regret it, like the Rams and Eagles did with Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, respectively.