Baker Mayfield’s options become far more limited

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The man who actually was supplanted by Deshaun Watson wanted to be traded the Colts. Instead, the Colts traded for the man who was almost supplanted by Watson.

To the extent some think Baker Mayfield needed to be humbled, losing out on his top choice to an aging player who entered the league when Mayfield was only 13 years old may have done the trick.

So where does Mayfield turn? The Seahawks continue to be an intriguing option. They may be the only viable option.

The Texans don’t want him; otherwise, he would have been tucked into the Watson trade package. (Then again, if the Browns hit fire-sale mode on Mayfield, maybe the price becomes more attractive to Houston.) The Panthers have a failed top-five quarterback from the 2018 draft in Sam Darnold; they’re looking for a major upgrade, not another stop-gap placeholder.

The Saints could have been in play. The new Jameis Winston contract would seem to suggest otherwise. (The final structure of the Winston deal could suggest otherwise to the otherwise.)

Then there are the Lions. That’s the best choice, in my view. Mayfield is the personification of the kneecap-biting attitude that coach Dan Campbell is trying to instill, the hardscrabble, likable (for the most part) punk who is equal parts Rick Mahorn and Marshall Mathers.

Baker Mayfield versus Jared Goff is a no-brainer. Mayfield is the right guy for the Lions, right now. John Dorsey, who drafted Mayfield in Cleveland and currently works in Detroit, should be buddyboying his way around the building, in an effort to create a consensus that they should go get Mayfield.

It may not cost very much. The Browns want to offload the $18.8 million guaranteed salary. Maybe they’ll pay some of it. Or maybe they’ll take peanuts in order to dump all of it.

Regardless, the evaporation of the Colts as a landing spot for Mayfield will make it harder to place him. And the fact that the Colts opted for Matt Ryan over Mayfield possibly will be the bucket of ice water that gets Mayfield to do the kind of soul searching that will help him propel a career at a crossroads toward the right direction.

41 responses to “Baker Mayfield’s options become far more limited

  1. I like Baker to Detroit for the right price too (3rd or lower). But I have a feeling the Lions are zeroing in on Malik Willis at 2.

  2. Claiming you want to be traded to a team that didn’t even want you says it all about Baker.

  3. How could the browns group think of haslam/berry/stefanski all agree it was a good idea to give $230M to a player that will not have played a game for approx 2 years?..

  4. Nobody is going to make him a starter. Sorry Baker youre a backup from now on we;ve seen the tape.

  5. Dan Campbell is a swell guy, but lacks emotional intelligence. Baker Mayfield is immature, but lacks emotional intelligence. It’s a no from me, dog.

  6. I still don’t think Mayfield is a fit for Detroit or Detroit fans. And considering the attitude issues he’s had in Cleveland, I doubt the Lions are interested in replacing Goff with him. He’s going to have to be a backup someplace. Maybe to Garoppolo in SF.

  7. When Matt Ryan gets taken over Mayfield, he needs to get a soul. There is much less tolerance in this league for a QB with questionable leadership skills….unless you can throw the ball and win games.

  8. The Lions would be a nice place for Baker to go and be completely forgotten about, but they’re on the hook with Goff for 30 million a year (for 3 more years!). That’s a whole lot to pay two quarterbacks who… let’s just say they aren’t Tom Brady.

  9. Supercharger also liked Ryan Leaf at #2 back in the day. Lions need to wait for better QB options in draft next year if that’s the direction they go in. However, and hate to say it, but I’m with Florio on this one. And I’d wait until Mayfield were released before making that move, Lions.

  10. Baker Mayfield is real Johnny Manziel in disguise, an overrated punk. Poor Cleveland.

  11. I wonder if the Bucs would jump in if the cap numbers could work. Sitting a year behind Brady could fix Baker.

  12. Crazy he’s twisting in the wind when he is better than quite a few other QBs out there. He would be an improvement for the Giants, Jets, Jags, Seahawks and probably more.

  13. What has mayfied done to show he is better than Goff? Goff at least got a team to a SB….

  14. Commanders should have waited. Mayfield would be a good fit. How anyone trusts Wentz on the field is beyond me.

  15. Be who you can afford to be. Baker, you can’t afford the attitude because you haven’t done anything that warrants it.

  16. All of this about Baker “needing to be humbled” says much more about the people spreading such rumors than it does about Baker himself. Baker has always conducted himself in a professional manner since he entered the league. He has always given credit to his teammates for any wins and placed the blame upon himself for poor performances. He has never been a public relations problem or been in trouble. Baker has been a generous contributor to the community.

    Those who say that he needs to be humbled are the immature people.

  17. The likeable(?) parts of Rick Mahorn and Marshall Mathers – now that is a scary thought.

  18. Baker had a bad year in 2021 that was marred by injuries as well as some poor decision-making and ill-advised tiffs with the media. It doesn’t make sense to me that he can go from a seemingly good QB in 2020 (26 TD, 8 Ints, a playoff win, etc.) to a bad QB in one year. Is a team really better off with Trubisky, Mariota, Goff, Davis Mills, Darnold, Drew Lock, Wentz, as their starting QB than they are Baker? Is Baker’s attitude really as abrasive as Wentz? Would Wentz have toughed out last season in a miserable situation? It’s like we have hit the point where a QB can’t have a bad year anymore. Winning solves everything.

  19. justokayfootball says:
    March 22, 2022 at 10:01 am

    Baker Mayfield is real Johnny Manziel in disguise, an overrated punk. Poor Cleveland.
    Baker led Cleveland to an 11-5 record just 2 seasons ago & beat Pittsburgh in the playoffs. Before Mayfield, the Browns record the 2 previous season were 1-31. Baker played injured & had a bad season last year because of it. Mayfield definitely isn’t perfect, but to compare him to Johnny Manziel is absolutely ridiculous. Manziel was & is a complete failure and all-time bust. Mayfield is an average starter with some great moments & some horrible moments.

  20. Funny how the narrative on a QB changes when their performance isn’t stellar – now that he isn’t winning all the games he needs to be humbled, where before he was embraced for bing edgy and driven – Baker didn’t change a bit. Guess it’s a balance – what negative traits you’ll put up with versus their performance – WOW, I guess Cleveland must expect Watson to never lose a game (or throw an incompletion for that matter).

  21. I understand wanting to get rid of Baker but not by giving Watson $230M guaranteed. Mayfield sure has fallen out of favor faster than ice melting in the Mojave Desert.

    The Lions might in fact be the only team that might be interested in him. Maybe Mayfield will recognize that he needs to acting more like an adult or he could find himself out of the league next year.

  22. Outside of the TB12 outlier, the trend for NFL success seems to be going with young, talented QBs that have plus mobility and completion rates closer to 70% than 60%. Pairing these young talents on their first contract with a balanced roster that can absorb some big free agent contracts can lead to sustained excellence. Baker Mayfield presents a unique problem because he’s almost at the end of his rookie contract and has not been overly impressive with field vision or accuracy. At this point he’s not worth an investment of big dollars, only a modicum of curiosity and a legit fit isn’t obvious anywhere. Seattle might want to give him a one year tryout off a low draft pick or take a step back and roll the dice w/a rookie. Detroit would only be plausible if there was a taker for Goff and his big contract. We know that isn’t the case and Detroit, too, would probably be best advised to experiment with Goff one more year before turning the team over to a youngster. The team seems to be comfortable enough with Goff until they can get the next guy on a rookie contract.

  23. Why is Mayfield over Goff a no-brainer?

    Goff has started a Super Bowl; has a 4,688-yard, 32-12 TD-INT season on his resume; and won a playoff game with a broken thumb. I know it’s popular to trash him right now, but there’s probably not a quarterback in the NFL who would have been able to win with last year’s Detroit team. He still might be a fringe top-ten quarterback.

    Mayfield has never thrown for 4,000 yards, while 27 touchdowns was his high point. He made OBJ look washed up until he went to the Rams and hasn’t been able to do his part on a team with an elite running game and good defense. The only arguments I can think of is he has better mobility than Goff and may still have some untapped theoretical upside.

  24. “Baker has always conducted himself in a professional manner since he entered the league. He has always given credit to his teammates for any wins and placed the blame upon himself for poor performances. He has never been a public relations problem or been in trouble. Baker has been a generous contributor to the community.”

    Wrong. Baker skipped his media responsibilities AFTER A WIN, then ranted against the media the next day as if it were their fault. Compare that to rookie DeShone Kizer who went 0-15 and never missed a post-game media session. That told me quite a bit about Baker and that’s not even bringing up his public questioning of play-calls and the social media storm he and his wife create. It’s far cry from near-criminal indictments, but it’s also not nothing.

  25. I have no horse in the race but really Mayfield has been drug through the wringer. He played hurt, put up with all the player controversy, coach is for him and now signs a guy like Watson for millions with all the accusations against him. Baker may not be a personality guy but look how many in the NFL are this way. We all get fans Browns go to playoffs then sink but to be happy to get Watson is a big question mark on the organization and fan base

  26. My biggest fear? Browns release Mayfield (which is where this is headed) and Pittsburgh gives him a chance to compete with Trubisky/Rudolph/Haskins to be the starter, and he just lights it up. Berry needs to see if Seattle will take Mayfield AND a 6th round pick AND at least 1/2 of his salary this season for a 7th and an old bag of socks.

    The other side of this… I believe the Browns KNOW that Watson will be suspended at least 1/2 the season and were weirdly hoping that Mayfield would stay and play here until Watson is back to active. After all… the commish works for the owners; not the other way around.

  27. I am not a huge Mayfield fan but the Browns bashing him before trading him might have been a bad idea. Although most teams probably don’t want him either way. Am glad my Colts didn’t get him.

  28. Florio I dont get how you think Baker Mayfield would fit in with Campbell. Campbell seems to be trying to build a team first mind set. How does a QB with an attitude problem fit that?

  29. I’d like to see him go to the Seahawks if the price isn’t too high..then let him , Lock and Eason duel it out for the starter position…I think Lock can turn it around and show he’s really good, John Elway threw a ton of interceptions his first 2 years and turned out very good…so we’ll see..Go Hawks !!!

  30. Baker, RUN don’t walk to anyplace that will take you. Cleveland is about to revert into the largest dumpster fire in the league!

  31. When everything shakes out, He ends up in Seattle, but only to compete for starting spot against Drew Lock.

  32. I like Baker to Detroit for the right price too (3rd or lower). But I have a feeling the Lions are zeroing in on Malik Willis at 2


    Absolutely zero chance Lions take a QB at #2. Lions are still rebuilding and will take much more than a QB. Goff was fine the second part of last year. This years draft class is exceptionally weak, including Willis. Next years QB class is far better. Lions will address areas of need and, if available, take a QB to develop in 3rd round

  33. Rodcar2 makes an interesting point – Browns know Watson will likely be suspended but hope Baker would stay until Watson is available. Sure, but they think Baker has an attitude NOW – imagine it then! Knowing you’re ONLY there because the guy who replaced you had his POOR CHARACTER issues catch up to him….

    And for those that say Baker will be a backup and it’s all he deserves, well, sure, he may end up as a backup, but considering the “quality” starters that some teams have, Baker would be a likely instant upgrade for several teams or as a minimum PUSH other QBs to keep their jobs. Who knows what the TRUE narrative about Baker is – isn’t it possible that Cleveland is “coloring” the narrative a bit it easier for people to accept Watson? What if they said “Baker is a great guy, never had any bad trouble with him and he’s kept his nose pretty clean, but we’ve decided to go with Watson who we are hoping will have his legal issues sorted out soon”?

  34. If Watson and Mayfield were cars:

    Watson – 5 years old, but only driven for 4. Paint is shiny, car is quick and handles like a dream. Low miles for it’s age but has a smell coming from the back seat / trunk that is bad enough that you don’t want to know the cause. Title issue may result in delay of operability.

    Mayfield – 4 years old and driven for 4, lowish miles but paint is still shiny and car is mechanically sound. Has a defect that occasionally results in erratic driving but a new “mechanic” has a good chance to fix it.

    Couldn’t resist, sorry.

  35. As a Lions fan No. No, no No, nO, NO, NO thank you no vacancy move along Mayfield. No.

  36. Why would the Lions want “another stop-gap placeholder”? Just not seeing it, although Mayfield played hurt, and could be primed for a much better year. Plus, he won’t have OBJ’s dad undermining him.

  37. As a Lions fan, I think most of us who actually follow our teams and know what we’re talking about would hate to see them give ANYTHING up for Baker, unless Cleveland would pay most of his salary and take a 7th for him.

    We’re still early in the rebuild process and Holmes and Campbell are putting together the solid backups of our team right now, with some legitimate starters sprinkled in (O-line pretty set, save for Vaitai’s contract). Getting Baker wouldn’t truly help; he’s nowhere near Stafford level and you saw how we did with him on bad teams. We need to solidify the defense and get one of the GOOD young QBs in next year’s draft.

    Trading for Baker would be like when the Pistons signed Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva. No thanks.

  38. Judging by Jason Lichts interview on Sirius today, the Bucs may in fact be that landing spot….

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