What’s next for Baker Mayfield?

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The Panthers and Browns were trying to find a landing spot for Baker Mayfield. They reportedly couldn’t strike a deal on splitting his $18,8 million base salary, prompting the Panthers to pivot to Matt Corral.

So what’s next for Mayfield?

The Panthers and Falcons have drafted quarterbacks. The Seahawks didn’t. Other teams that were looking include the Lions and Saints.

Seattle seems like the obvious landing spot, but they’ve done nothing to indicate an interest in Mayfield. Maybe they now will, given that Cleveland’s options are drying up, and their expectations could be changing.

Carolina would have made plenty of sense for Mayfield, perhaps enough to get him to even trim some of his salary to help ensure an opportunity to go to a new city and have the kind of year needed to lay the foundation for a contract in 2023. Now, he’ll have to keep waiting. As will the Browns.

The best news for Cleveland is that Pittsburgh’s decision to draft Kenny Pickett means that the worst-case scenario for the Browns — cutting Mayfield and having him go straight to the Steelers — most likely won’t happen. The bad news is that the Browns may not get a better opportunity than whatever opportunity they had tonight.

So what do they do? Wait for an injury that isn’t likely to happen? Reduce their expectations?

And what will Mayfield do? He’s been patient and compliant. At some point, his less patient and compliant nature will take over.

It’s all a sunk cost at this point for Cleveland. They made their $230 million wager on Deshaun Watson, who arrived with 22 distractions that still linger. Mayfield continues to be another distraction that the Browns just don’t need.

Unlike a rookie who can sit for a year or two, Mayfield is on a one-year deal. Whoever gets him via trade will have to be ready to play him now. That leaves, at this point, the Seahawks as the best option. The Saints are a possibility, if they aren’t as sold on Jameis Winston as they pretend to be.

Wherever it goes from here, Mayfield can’t be happy with how it’s gone. Yes, he’s getting $18.8 million this year no matter what. But will he have a chance to parlay 2022 into a much bigger payday in 2023? He needs to be able to play in order to make that happen. Unless the Lions are willing to kick Jared Goff to the curb (or, say, the Texans decide that Davis Mills isn’t really the answer or the Giants determine to move on from Daniel Jones now instead of later), Mayfield is stuck. And the Browns are stuck.

It’s a headache that the player doesn’t want, and that the Browns don’t need.

69 responses to “What’s next for Baker Mayfield?

  1. Contrast the Browns/Baker breakup vs the Ravens/Hollywood breakup. Ravens managed to keep the Hollywood trade a secret right up to the Draft and get a 1st for him, and Hollywood leaves Bmore happy; meanwhile Browns gonna be Browns.

  2. The Saints don’t appear to be sold on Winston and Mayfield, having won a playoff game with of all teams the Browns, could make the Saints relevant this season…

  3. Goff to Seattle and Mayfield to Detroit would be my vote. If they let me vote, which they do not.

  4. Just release him already, ridiculous that they are paying Watson $230 mil knowing he’s going to be suspended but they won’t eat $18 mil to make this problem go away. Only the Browns

  5. Mayfield and Murray are talented short college QB’s, drafted high, who did reach their ceilings so far in the NFL. Sorry but NFL defenses are too strong in this league.

  6. Cleveland better hang on to him. What if DW gets the same suspension as the MLB player got. Suspended 2 full seasons. (I doubt he gets that, but who knows?) Cleveland could use him this year, then franchise him next year.

  7. Baker is still rehabbing his shoulder and camps don’t open until July. Relax. The Browns can be patient as they don’t need additional picks in this draft.

  8. Just hang out.. he’s going to get his 18mil no matter what, and he will still be on a NFL roster (team tbd) all season. Browns fumbled getting real compensation for him, but he just needs to do him. Work hard, and don’t tweet anything stupid.

  9. Why insist Baker will be released? They’ve guaranteed his salary already might as well keep him on hand in case Watson is suspended/injured. If he causes drama he can be suspended without pay. He clearly has incentive to play well if he’s plugged in. I would not release disgruntled players with guaranteed contracts for the sake of starting fresh. Doubt Cleveland was stoked to see ODell win a ring while they paid him for the privilege to watch him win a ring in

  10. Baker might be starting for XX weeks when the Watson suspension eventually gets levied. Let’s be realistic: if Watson is innocent, where was the NFLPA raising hell last season?

  11. Baker was never going to the Steelers no matter how many times you hacks say it. Besides, how is it the “worst thing”” to cut a guy, who you clearly don’t believe in, and have him go to a rival? If he was that big of a threat to you, why make him available in the first place?

  12. The Browns torpedoed Baker Mayfield’s career. He didn’t deserve it. Just like Deshaun Watson doesn’t deserve what he got.

  13. If the Jets weren’t ear-deep in denial about Zach Wilson they should think about Mayfield.

  14. Browns being the Browns. They put themselves in this situation and also guaranteed Watson’s contract. I think Mayfield will come back stronger wherever he lands if he learns to be a better teammate. Not a fan, but he’s a tough QB.

  15. And the Bills Mafia sincerely and gratefully thank Cleveland, and especially Dorsey/Haslam for the ultimate “swing and a miss”…

  16. why would the Browns be afraid that Baker would go to Pittsburg? Would playing for them remove all the limitations that are obvious in his game? Pittsburg would still have the worst QB in the division after Watson, Burrow and Jackson.

  17. Baker should be blasting the browns in the press and on social media. He should become so toxic they have no choice but to cut him. At this point the team is hamstringing his career, if the players association had any morals they would be putting the pressure on the clowns to release him too.

  18. If Mayfield had been humble and taken this in stride, I bet they could have worked something out. But the headache is just not worth the $$.

  19. A smart team waits until the Browns cut him then sign him for peanuts which is what he is worth !!!

  20. The Browns guaranteed all $ 236 Million of DeShawn Watson’s salary ( which was way more then any team ever guaranteed before ) I think a lot of teams will be all for letting the Browns eat Mayfield’s $ 18.8 Million as a side dish.

  21. I guess to sit on the Browns roster……teams apparently don’t have enough incentive to trade for him……the Browns have zero incentive to release him……he’s a very expensive lottery ticket at this point whose value is, unfortunately, based on someone’s starter getting hurt……since an injury is inevitable, again unfortunately, it’s a waiting game…….

  22. Mayfield’s value has dropped to depths he couldn’t imagine. Nobody wants him, the Browns have a huge albatross on their hands, and certainly no one wants any part of his $18 m price tag. The Browns certainly deserve this, after signing Watson. Seems like karma, for them.

  23. Maybe other GMs are perturbed about the guaranteed money they gave Watson and are happy to see the Browns having to eat Mayfield’s salary too?

  24. The best news for Cleveland is that Pittsburgh’s decision to draft Kenny Pickett means that the worst-case scenario for the Browns — cutting Mayfield and having him go straight to the Steelers — most likely won’t happen.


    Why would the Browns worry about Mayfield going to the Steelers? The Browns know Mayfield…he stinks

  25. Mayfield for whatever reason is not well liked inside the locker room. There has to be another reason why he was not traded. Maybe teams are waiting for the Browns to just release him.
    I am not sure I would want his distractions on my roster if I were the coach but he is still a top 20 QB so there are a dozen teams that could upgrade their starting QB at the very least.

  26. Goff to Seattle and Mayfield to Detroit would be my vote. If they let me vote, which they do not.

    I’d rather have Goff

  27. This is sad for Baker. The Browns really did him wrong with the dealings and getting Watson. I hope he can find a team that wants him. I do like his commercials but maybe that’s the issue here.

  28. He will get cut and sign to compete for a starting job. That would be the best for him.

    Everything will work out best that way. Yep he is better now than anyone else drafted but not at that price. Also the browns should not be rewarded for screwing up the qb market. That is the real reason why they have no trade market.

  29. What’s next for Baker? Unemployment Line. Nobody wants to trade for him. Browns will eventually cut him, since there’s no longer a worry that he’ll go to the Steelers. He’ll join some team as a cheap backup.

  30. I don’t know why the Bears haven’t made any effort to get him. I know we have Fields, but we haven’t had a QB forever. We should have 5 QB’s in camp or on the roster trying to find one at all costs.

  31. So he gets $18m and doesn’t have to play? That’s a pretty good gig I’d say. If smart, you can live on that. As for the future, looks like Bake is cooked.

  32. What’s next for Baker Mayfield?

    Give up? That’s an option, right?
    Not only are some teams that are in need of QBs don’t want him, some players don’t either. That’s crazy

  33. One thing is for sure, as long as Deshaun Watson is involved this story will have a happy ending.

  34. Cant wait to see those progressive commercials mid season from the cleveland bench . classic

  35. Cleveland should have let Mayfield go yesterday. They’re trying to get teams to pay a big portion of his salary due,… and get a high pick in return. It doesn’t work that way. They probably could have gotten a late 2nd or early 3rd if they had paid 2/3rds of Mayfields guaranteed salary. This after damaging their own position by relegating Mayfield to the scrap heap.
    Not real smart. Now they get nothing of value in this draft. They’ll be lucky to get much of anything after today in a trade. He’s a lame duck back up in Cleveland. And not a happy one at that.

  36. There ought to be awards for this kind of buffoonery because the clown car that is the Browns front office has now guaranteed that they will have to release Mayfield and eat the money. A smart team would have found a way to salvage money or late-round picks before the draft even started. Wow.

  37. Mayfield doesn’t get much respect but he’s a pretty good QB. In 2018 he broke Peyton Manning’s rookie record for TD passes. He was banged up in 2019 but came back in 2020 to lead the Browns to the playoffs and win their first playoff game in decades. Last season he played hurt almost all of the year. Watson is a better NFL QB but has a lot of red flags.

    Carolina should have made a deal like this: they trade a 7th this year plus a conditional pick next year (say a 4th for 12+ starts by Mayfield to 2nd if he starts 15+ games and they win a playoff game) with 2 or 3 option years. Cleveland pays 10 mil signing bonus, Carolina pays 10 mil guaranteed salary for 2022 with options for the next 3 years at 25, 30, and 35 mil. Options would have to be exercised before start of tampering period and become guaranteed for each year option is exercised. That structure would protect all parties and get Mayfield more money than he’d likely get on the street as the next version of Martiota or Winston.

  38. Other than awkwardness and wanting to play, I don’t think it’s a big problem. He gets over 18m to sit and maybe start the season for Watson. The could be an injury or a suspension, either in Cleveland or elsewhere. He doesn’t really have to play much to parlay anything. Someone will want him next year as long as he doesn’t do anything to make them *not* want him. His best move is to just say “of course I want to play, but I’m here and I will give everything I have.” Everyone knows he’s getting shafted. If he plays his cards right, he can turn that into an asset. I’ve done it before. All you have to do is react much better than anyone thinks you will. It becomes a bargaining chip.

  39. You are going to pay him 18 million no matter what. That said, would you rather pay him 18 million to be an insurance policy and backup QB, or pay him to go away and give you nothing. Something is better than nothing.

  40. He is on his way back to Oklahoma to be an assistant coach. NFL is a humbling league.

  41. Self-inflicted wound by the Browns. They did not have to trash and alienate him, ESPECIALLY since he was under contract AND they had no better option at the time. Of course, Watson is a much better QB, but his availability this year is in severe question. So IF they had handled this well, they would have had Watson as the starter, with Mayfield as the back up/fill in. Now, they have to pay Mayfield, and they then signed Brissett as the backup. So they will be paying four QBs instead of three.

    Brissett’s entire salary is a waste of cash and cap. All because the organization lacked the discipline to just keep their mouths shut about Mayfield not being a “grown up” in 2021, even though he was “grown up” enough to win a playoff game in 2020.

  42. Baker should try somehow to become a member of the Jaguars . Doug Pederson is truly a “Quarterback Whisperer “ .. he’s great with QBs . Better than Andy Reid if you ask me .

  43. I’m sure they need to trade him for something to minimize the cap hit and take some of his salary. The fact that they haven’t says more about the Browns demands than the lack of interest in Mayfield. Serves them right for getting stung.

  44. Mayfield has a big mouth and that is at least partially a reason for the delay. But to me he looks better than at least five QB who will be starting in the NFL. He looked like an average starter until the injuries last season.
    Mayfield may be in for late start or even a missed season. But I believe he will get another chance to start somewhere this year and may resurrect his career in a different venue.

  45. The Browns hold they keys to this situation. Why let him go for free when they can just sit on their hands and hold onto him as a backup? If Watson gets hurt, does anyone really think Baker won’t want to play? He obviously has to prove himself again and show other teams that the shoulder isn’t an issue. I wouldn’t take one dollar less than $18M for him. Someone will be injured and looking to trade for him. Call their bluff!

  46. Let’s not let facts get in the way of a good story I guess. Why is the narrative still being pushed like Cleveland is the one that wants Baker gone when BAKER is the one demanding a trade. If Cleveland tried to trade him and no team felt he was worth the contract he had the Browns did their part, they can’t force other teams to take on his salary. 0 GM’s in the NFL would release a player on a 100% guaranteed deal that’s grade school logic. It is up to Baker and his agent to find a team willing to take him and his contract just like Watson did, It’s not the Browns problem that he has a higher opinion of his worth than the rest of the league does. The problem is Baker is making demands like he is Aaron Rogers or Watson or Mahomes when he does not have the clout they do. In the mean time the Browns had no problem finding a trade partner for Case Keenum. That should tell you everything right there.

  47. What is amazing to me, is that a good part of this message board has a clearer and viable vision of what the Browns front office should be doing. How much more obtuse can the Browns be?

  48. Most expensive third string QB ever.

    Baker should just shut up and take the money, it’s the last big money he’s going to see. Running down his team and teammates to the press can get him fired for cause.

    And the Browns may as well keep him on the bench since they are going to end up paying him anyway.

  49. The first team that offers to give the Browns a 7th round pick while picking up $10 Million of his 2022 salary will get him. If he returns to 2020 form that is a steal for his new team. Meanwhile, the Browns get rid of a huge distraction and save $8 Million. That is the best the Browns can expect since they screwed up once again by trading for Watson before offloading Baker.

  50. It’s a good thing the Browns didn’t throw away two seasons to put themselves in a position to draft this guy. That would have been a horrible waste….

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