Panthers should make their move for Baker Mayfield now

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Last night, I argued that any team thinking about drafting a quarterback should instead trade for Baker Mayfield. Given the developments of the first round, I’ve got a more specific suggestion to make.

The Panthers should go get Mayfield, before other teams join the hunt.

With no second- or third-round picks, thanks to the ill-fated Sam Darnold trade, the Panthers aren’t in position to pick a quarterback tonight, unless they trade back into the round. Other teams that may want a quarterback are, and they’re likely to let it play out before exploring other options.

So once a team like the Falcons or Saints or Seahawks or Lions (still trying) emerge from tonight without a quarterback, the Panthers may have some competition for his contract.

That’s why it needs to be done now. Even if Carolina has to pay the full amount of his salary, what’s $18.8 million for a starting quarterback? They’re already paying that to Darnold, and they don’t want him to be the starter. Put them together and it’s $37.6 million in cash and cap space for the quarterback position in 2022.

Again, Mayfield is proven. The rookies aren’t. And the rookies remaining after the conclusion of the first round are even less proven (or at least have lower potential) than usual.

So get cracking, Carolina. He who hesitates may lose the chance to snag the best available veteran quarterback option.

66 responses to “Panthers should make their move for Baker Mayfield now

  1. what happens to Baker after this yr ? he not worth starter wages . that the problem in a nut shell..

  2. Proven? He underperformed on a stacked team and none of his team-mates apparently like him.

    They could find a better stop-gap quarterback that’s less of a headache for cheaper.

  3. I think teams want to stick it to the Browns after the guaranteed contract to Watson. They want the Browns on the hook for Baker’s guaranteed money too.

  4. Good advice. Mayfield is one of the few QBs who’s made it to the divisional round in recent years, and now he’s got something to prove (and was never a slacker to begin with).

    I hadn’t thought about the Saints, because I think they have a good QB in Winston. But they would go right back into contention with Mayfield – he has the killer instinct they could really use at the hub of the team. Especially after the first round of their draft, they would get a big boost from Mayfield.

  5. It seems the mindset that if your QB is not the MVP you must get rid of all common sense and go after a well below average QB and/or poor draft grade just because. This is why coaches and GM’s don’t last long they use up assets trying to get a QB forgetting to build the rest of the team.

    Bringing in Baker to compete with Darnold seems like a disaster waiting to happen.

  6. No thanks. Sam Darnold has been “ill-fated” for four seasons – it’s not the trade that was unlucky.

  7. Next year they will be replacing Baker. So go with Darnold. They can tank for a better pick in a draft with better QBs (hopefully) and it will not cost $100,000 per loss.

  8. Quick! There’s still time to corner the market on mediocre qb’s from the 2018 draft!

  9. 18.8 million is not a lot to pay for a very good to great starting quarterback, but it’s an awful lot to pay for a mediocre one.

  10. Is it so clear cut that Baker is a better option than JimmyG? I’ll admit I’m a niners fan, so I perhaps bring some bias – or at least more familiarity watching JG. But, at the same time, I fear he doesn’t get even credit as a winner (even from his own fan base). Welcome more informed views from those that have watched both closely on the field and in the locker room

  11. They don’t have a second or a third. So what exactly is Caroline going to give the Browns. A 1st next season.

  12. Been saying this since the Watson trade to Cleveland. Now that Carolina has made its pick for the OT, a conditional 4th next year should be enough to get the deal done (could even make it a 3rd if you franchise him and he meets playing time requirements or certain stats). The beauty of dealing for Mayfield is he could always be franchised if you like what you see and can be a bridge to the QB you may draft next year if you don’t feel he is a long term option.

  13. Hey Mike… What’s your suggested offer for Baker from Carolina? Sacrifice more picks?

  14. Or hear me out — play Sam (or resign Cam Newton for pennies) behind a (now) good offensive line with weapons at RB and WR. If it doesn’t work, you’re only on the hook for one season and you go get your QB next year. If it does then yay

  15. If baker didnt play hurt, there would be about 15 teams that wanted him. I’m so sick of the stacked team narrative. Obj played better because he was a WR2 and didnt have to carry the load that kupp does. He was in single coverage all day against DB2-3. On the browns he was expected to be the man. Baker has played in a ton of awful weather on a run first team. I didnt expect 5k yards. Watson has garbage time yards in 2020. Baker is the better leader too.

  16. Baker is the best quarterback this league has ever seen….Just ask him he’ll tell you all about it 🙄

  17. Darnold and Mayfield are both mediocre QBs. Why trade and pay for another mediocre player that’s not going to improve your team. There’s a reason that Cleveland rolled the $230M dice on a QB with legal problems.

  18. There are young veteran QB’s available that are better than the QB’s who are left on the draft board. Josh Rosen is one. Mayfield, maybe. Mason Rudolph. Maybe Sam Darnold is available. He’d be the top QB in this draft. Don’t ever think that a QB couldn’t do better in a better environment. It’s happened many times, and it will happen many more times. See Steve Young, Brett Favre, Jim Plunkett, Kurt Warner, Drew Brees. All these guys won their super bowls after they were traded from their original teams. Most are HOFers, too. Does anyone recall all the excitement when Atlanta traded Brett Favre to Green Bay? Lol. What about when Tampa Bay traded Steve Young to San Francisco? There wasn’t any excitement because most people listened to the talking heads who were calling these HOF QB’s busts.

  19. I’m not sure how much of an upgrade Baker is. Carolina would have to give up more draft capitol for a one year rental. Why would they do that? They’d have to be convinced they want him long term or at least for the next 3-4 seasons. I think I’d just roll with Darnold for a year. Maybe take one of this years QB’s in the 2nd or 3rd round. Ruhle is caught in a bad spot. He’ll end up getting fired after this season. They should have traded for Cousins. They could still trade for Garappolo. That might be the better move. Ownership may insist they not give up anymore draft capitol as they plan for life after Ruhle.

  20. Actually I like a title more along the lines of the Giants, Saints, Seahawks, Panthers, etc…. need to take a look at making their move now.

    Seems like a necessary gamble. A well leveraged, almost cheap risk at getting a possible steal.

  21. Nobody should waste a potential stud for Baker. Let him flail in the wind. HE’s nothing special and a backup at most.

    Please Seahawks, DO NOT bring this losing dog to the team!

  22. Maybe this makes sense if Cleveland gives Carolina a 2nd rd pick to take Mayfield and his salary out of the conference.

  23. Are we really thinking Baker is that big of an upgrade over Darnold? I’d say there pretty close to equal. The Browns were winning because of their run game, if the Browns had Darnold instead, I think they would have won the same amount of games.

  24. Why focus on Baker? Go after Rodgers instead. Tepper has money to burn, Green Bay can move to an elite defense with an offense featuring a strong running game. Carolina gives up Darnold and 4 high picks.

  25. I would bring in Josh Rosen before I brought in Mayfield. It is the same guy for less money and fewer headaches.

  26. Back before the Browns traded for Watson, a lot of Browns fans were ready to move on from Baker but were resigned to having him for one more year. No one wanted to pay him long term. Many were intrigued by the idea of replacing him with Garropolo or Cousins. But now that they have Watson, many of these same Browns fans think some other team ought to be excited about paying Baker 18 million next year, lol.

    A lot of qb’s have had a hot 10 or so games over the years only to flame out into mediocrities. Hell, Nick Foles has done it a couple times.

  27. Why not trade for Gardner Minshew instead?

    He’s probably at least as good, lower cost, and his teammates actually like him.

  28. Um, no they shouldnt he isnt any better than Darnold. Not a leader, whiny baby, thinks he should get a starter deal but doesn’t have the skill set, I could go on.

  29. You have some money riding on this deal? Just wondering, since you seem awfully concerned about Mayfield winding up on the Panthers.

  30. The perception of baker mayfield is crazy to me. Do u guys honestly see any of the drafts qbs having the same upside as him? When I say upside I mean him taking a cleveland browns team to the playoffs not when he played hurt. I’m not sure I can see any of this years qbs in the draft taking a team on a playoff run I just can’t. 18 mil really isnt THAT bad. We’ve seen so many worse qbs go on and get paid more what’s the big deal about paying him he just goes out there and really wants to win

  31. Don’t rule out Arizona signing him as a back-up if he gets bought out.

    Arizona is not going to reset the market for Kyler Murray which means they could be headed for an ugly divorce as soon as next offseason.

    There is zero chance of Baker Mayfield getting a good starting job in 2022. Might as well put himself in the best position for a good starting job in 2023.

    Whether it is Baker or Colt McCoy again, whoever is behind Murray in Arizona will see playing time in 2022 as he is guaranteed to get injured. If Baker can stay out of the headlines, be a good soldier and do well in an offense he should do well in for 2 games in 2022 he will get offers next year or could take over if Murray gets traded.

  32. No thank you, as a fan of the panthers. They have enough of other teams garbage and they need to stop letting other teams hustle them out of their picks.

  33. What reality is this where teams are competing to land Baker Mayfield? At the point the Browns should wait for an injury and trade him for a late round pick next year.

  34. So, what you saying now is that a mediocre Baker Mayfield is a better option than Colin Kaepernick?

  35. Let’s not forget that Tepper has been fuming about how badly the Panthers have been doing. Rhule needs to save his job. A year of tanking with Darnold and he gets the chop. He might be desperate enough to roll the dice and acquire Baker to try to save his skin.

  36. It makes no sense to trade for Baker unless you believe he’s your long term answer. If he isn’t he’s going to win you a few more games than Darnold would, meaning you have a worse draft pick next year when you need to draft your actual long term QB.

  37. Any team would be dumb to trade for Baker. Not due to his talent, but because the Browns have to get rid of him so why waste picks and/or players when he will eventually be a FA??

  38. What people don’t realize apparently is the Browns have 27m+ cap space with Baker on the roster and only 1.8m of that is allocated to the rookie pool. The Browns don’t need to cut him. It’d be nice to have his salary gone, but there is no need to cut him for cap space.

    If they don’t find a trade partner, call him a healthy scratch for each game and pay the salary. If someone gets injured before the trade deadline, there’s a presumably healthy QB waiting to be traded (likely at a higher cost to the team needing a QB).

  39. They can get Kap as a backup for $2 mil and that’s a better football move than this.

  40. Baker was ranked 25th in 2021 by, despite the OBJ drama, heel, knee, groin and completely torn labrum injuries. Darnold, healthy, was ranked 42nd. At the start of the season, the Browns were stacked on paper. Then Hubbard had season ending surgery, Wills injured his ankle, & Conklin had a season ending injury, reducing us to playing guards at tackle, then to add insult to all the injuries, COVID decimated our roster for weeks. Our best receiver, Jarvis Landry, was also hurt, as was Kareem Hunt. For most of the season, our leading receiver was Njoku. With a healthy team, and healthy self, Baker was ranked 11th among starting QBs in 2020. What Carolina gets if they trade for Mayfield? Control. I suspect the Browns would be willing to pay part, or even most, of his salary, depending on what’s offered in trade. Otherwise, Carolina can tank, and if they fail to tank badly enough, can offer a slew of 1sts to try to trade up for Young or Stroud in 2023. Desperate teams make the worst draft day decisions. Or they could get a legit starter in Mayfield whose floor is top 15, and whose ceiling is yet to be determined… and do it without mortgaging the future. It’s a low risk, high potential reward scenario that you can walk away from if it doesn’t pan out. A lot harder to walk away from a QB when you sacrificed 3 firsts to jump up in the draft for him. You’re shackled to that decision for years.

  41. The Panthers should trade some picks to move into the second round and take Matt Corral. It’s a low risk move and gets them an interesting QB prospect on the cheap. Corral can sit until Darnold starts seeing ghosts and gets benched. He’s good pocket passer, and fits Matt Rhule’s offense very well.

  42. When I start seeing emoji’s in the PFT comments, I realize I am too old and too mature for this site.

  43. I’d rather just roll with Darnold and get a top pick next year vs. .500 with Mayfield and still no answer at QB.

  44. Carolina mess up their roster getting Darnold, so they should mess it up more by bringing in Mayfield as well?

    The best way for dysfunctional teams to stop being dysfunctional, is to take a breather, let poor judgements pan out (contracts expire) then rebuild from a solid base.

    Bringing in Mayfield delays that process another 12 months. Thats 12 months of upsetting parts of your team you actually want to keep long term.

  45. I wouldn’t trade for him now all the teams ought to weight till Cleveland has to cut him than go after him do you won’t loose any draft or have to pay any of his salary. The Browns made a deal with the Devil getting Watson

  46. What is your fascination with Baker? He is not a good quarterback. Have you watched him play? Too short to play the position with terrible throwing motion. LOOK how well BECKEM did once he had a real QB throwing to him.

  47. Depends what Carolina has to give up. You make it sound like they can get him for a 7th. If that’s the case then that’s one thing, but I’d imagine they’d have already made the deal if that was the price

  48. It’s not like Mayfield is the missing piece of the puzzle. They have needs all over their offense.

    I’d keep Darnold for one more year. The receivers he had with the Jets were all dog poo poo. At least in Carolina he’s got somebody who is actually good at football.

    There are so many better ways to spend $18 million dollars that I wouldn’t give up a conditional seventh for Mayfield.

  49. Baker isn’t just an above average QB, he’s a great player and there are thousands of people who agree with me.

    What I don’t understand is why HATERS in Cleveland want him to fade away from the sport he loves and the team he wanted to help achieve the elusive goal of owning a Super Bowl ring? I have never seen such a high degree of animosity toward a player before, and I’ve been around a very long time.

    If you think by dissing Baker this helps make sense of hiring Watson a guy who brings a lot of baggage, it doesn’t. Why can’t the Browns be happy to have Watson without denigrating the QB who put Cleveland back on television?

    Yes, that was Baker Mayfield.

  50. Baker is done. Slightly an above average qb but a huge team headache and a locker room distraction that no one wants.

  51. I don’t think the Browns are going to trade Baker until they know what the NFL is going to do about Watson.

  52. clevelandsportsandotherthingsthatmakememad says:
    April 29, 2022 at 1:52 pm
    If baker didnt play hurt, there would be about 15 teams that wanted him. I’m so sick of the stacked team narrative. Obj played better because he was a WR2 and didnt have to carry the load that kupp does. He was in single coverage all day against DB2-3. On the browns he was expected to be the man. Baker has played in a ton of awful weather on a run first team. I didnt expect 5k yards. Watson has garbage time yards in 2020. Baker is the better leader too.

    I agree with this and other comments in support of Baker. Haters want to give him no credit for 2020, but all the blame for 2021 – and they still won 8 games with him held together with duct tape and half the starters (or more) in and out of the lineup all season due to injuries or COVID.

    A lot of people hate Baker, and it’s easy to follow the lazy narrative of “he’s not good, look at 2021”, which is disingenuous, at best. Yes, Baker is better than Darnold, he’s better than a number of starting QBs.

    The reason no one wants him is that the Browns trashed him publicly, sat on him instead of trading him when they could’ve gotten something for him, and now are playing hardball on his $18 million salary – after guaranteeing $260 million to Watson.

    I’ve been a Browns fan for decades, and I really hate how they’ve handled all of this. Haslam is a toxic owner.

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