Report: Browns and Panthers still talking about Baker Mayfield, salary remains obstacle

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The Panthers and Browns have spoken about a trade that would send quarterback Baker Mayfield to Carolina at points this offseason, but the Panthers’ demand that the Browns pick up the lion’s share of Mayfield’s $18.8 million salary have kept anything from happening.

That obstacle reportedly hasn’t gone anywhere as the Panthers close in on the end of their offseason program. Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports reports that the two teams continue to have dialogue about a trade, but that the issue of how much of Mayfield’s salary the Browns will eat remains a stumbling block.

Jones adds that the Panthers would like to get something done now so that Mayfield could get some time with the team during this week’s minicamp, but there’s no sign that anyone is budging on the salary front at this point.

Mayfield was excused from the Browns’ minicamp and has not spent any time with the team since they traded for Deshaun Watson. Sam Darnold, Matt Corral, and P.J. Walker are the current quarterbacks in Carolina.

34 responses to “Report: Browns and Panthers still talking about Baker Mayfield, salary remains obstacle

  1. Browns are being stupid as usual. They need to get this done and eat whatever amount of Baker’s salary the Panthers ask, while still getting a draft pick or two. What are their options? To wait until they have to cut him, get nothing in return and be responsible for his entire salary. I just don’t see them keeping Baker.

  2. At this point I assume Watson will be suspended for the 2022 season. Browns burned the Baker bridge and don’t have Case Keenum anymore… the browns are gonna brown

  3. Come on Haslam! Just use some of the money Old Flying J stole from all of those truck drivers and eat the salary and move on already!! Of course, moving on means dealing with the Deshaun Watson circus…….and on and on it goes for a Browns fan!!

  4. Why don’t they simply swap Mayfield for Darnold? They’re both screwed paying the players they don’t want. At least a change of scenery could do them both some good…

    Other than because Cleveland is Cleveland and why not take advantage of them, everybody else does…I don’t see why they should take on Darnold AND pay a good chunk of Mayfield’s salary to boot. Carolina is already getting the better player in the deal.

  5. IF Cleveland is still trying to move Mayfield (which if true would clearly indicate that the two parties cannot continue in a professional coexistence), then just get it done.

    Why let the salary get in the way of eliminating one (of many!) distraction off of its plate? They have to pay BM anyway, and it doesn’t appear that they intend to play him. So, the $18+M is lost money regardless.

    Consequently, any amount of salary Cleveland can defer is icing on a really bad cake.

    And it might be possible that Cleveland could eventually mitigate the $18.8M hit by voiding DW’s $230M contract, based on how things are going on that front.

    Ironic to me:

    Last year DW had to sit out the year getting his full salary because of his alleged misbehavior
    This year BM might sit out the year getting his full salary because of DW alleged misbehavior.

  6. Mayfield and Darnold have the same salary in 2022. Maybe these two teams should trade for each others QB that they don’t want.

  7. If Carolina wants Mayfield so bad, why don’t they trade Darnold even up to Cleveland for Mayfield? Both teams have a QB on his 5th year getting paid $18.8 million. Both teams have already shown they can absorb the cap hit.

    The reason this works for Cleveland: The Mayfield/Cleveland relationship likely cannot be mended. If Watson is in fact suspended or placed on the exempt list, Brissett is likely to be the starter. Darnold would be a fine back-up and would not have any issues with playing for Cleveland.

    The reason this would work for Carolina: Mayfield is a better QB than Darnold. The QB they just drafted (Corral) has a similar skill set to Mayfield. The playbook would not have to be changed much. In a year, if Carolina thinks Corral is their guy, they can move on from Mayfield. If Corral is not ready, they can always Franchise Mayfield for a year as insurance.

    In the end, the deal works for both teams as it removes the Mayfield situation for Cleveland and upgrades the Carolina QB.

  8. The way I see it is, the Browns will either have to just cut him and eat the money or play him ! Carolina won’t pay any of that $18 million when if they throw the right pitch and get him when he becomes a free agent at the end of season!

  9. The Browns better make sure that Darnold is part of the deal because Pervy Watson isn’t going to be playing this year.
    Can you imagine being in a situation where you have to beg for Darnold?
    Oh, those Browns! Football’s comedic gift that keeps on giving!

  10. This is like Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop. This is the song ‘that never ends”. Let common sense take over here. The Panthers do not want Sam Darnold. The Browns do not want Baker Mayfield. They each have 1 year left on their rookie contracts and are being paid the same amount of guaranteed money. Swap them for each other straight up. Panthers can watch Mayfield for a year and decide if they want him long term, mean while Darnold gets to back up Brissett while Watson is suspended this year.

  11. They’re waiting for that brown & orange Watson rollover accident to be cleared from the express lanes.

  12. Interesting line of thought, the two owners are rich. One owns Truck stops the other creates it out thin air. So how do you wash some money… invest in the others business at an incredible deal. The Yankees bought Babe Ruth in part by funding a Broadway production…

  13. They have no problems paying Watson $240M, what’s a few million to get something for Baker?

  14. I don’t get it. The Panthers drafted a QB and have Darnold. I think Baker is an NFL QB and will make some team Better. I would just ride it out for the year and see how it goes.

  15. This is where having a smart & creative front office separates the well run teams from the rest.
    If a team really thought Mayfield was the “guy”, they wouldn’t balk at taking on his entire salary and figure out how to make it work.
    This also makes one wonder if the Panthers would be willing to pay market value for a true franchise QB. At least Baker should be wondering that.

  16. Lots of folks suggesting that the teams swap Mayfield and Darnold. I agree. However, I think the Browns should pay all of Darnold’s $18M and $3-5M of Mayfield’s $18M because the Browns are in more of a bind. The Panthers can start Darnold if their rookie is not ready. The Browns are stuck with Jacoby Brissett is Watson is suspended.

  17. The Browns have no use for Darnold, there is no point in trading anything for him.

    The Browns will likely get a third round compensatory pick if they keep Matfield until next year so it all comes down to how much. more than that the Panthers will give them.

    The Browns don’t need to trade Mayfield, if they aren’t going to get a decent offer for him they can just give Mayfield the year off and move on next year.

  18. Not sure why people would think the Browns would want to swap Mayfield for Darnold straight up. Their whole goal is to get rid of as much of Baker’s $18 million cap hit as possible. Why would they take on Darnold’s $18 million – they’re just back in the same boat they were with Mayfield, except paying an even less valuable player the same amount of money.

  19. Matt Rhule: “We are excited about seeing Sam Darnold in year 2 of this offense”

    LMAO

  20. The Panthers are such a mess, just a complete mess. Going into the start of the pre-season and still don’t know what they want to do at quarterback. If they’re unsure there then what else are they unsure at? What is their camp looking like? Meeting room with coaches and scheme?

    The season is looking like it’s going to be a disaster.

  21. pftancelledme says:
    June 14, 2022 at 10:44 am

    I don’t get it. The Panthers drafted a QB and have Darnold. I think Baker is an NFL QB and will make some team Better. I would just ride it out for the year and see how it goes.

    ———————
    $18.8 million is an expensive ride.

  22. Teams know the Browns have no choice. It has nothing to do with Baker and what they think of him. If you could buy something for half of what it is worth are you just going to pony up full price because you think it is worth more? They could think he is a future top 5 QB and the smart play would be make the Browns eat the money. That is being smart & creative. Not paying when there is no need to.

  23. When the deal between the Browns and Carolina did not happen, that is when Carolina decided to move forward with drafting and developing a young QB. Rhule already said both QB’s will get playing time this coming season. So that tells me Rhule is not on the hot seat and they’re really trying to build this team the right way.

  24. joma1969 says:
    June 14, 2022 at 9:38 am
    Why don’t they simply swap Mayfield for Darnold? They’re both screwed paying the players they don’t want. At least a change of scenery could do them both some good…
    ——————————————————————————————————————
    Darnold has already had a change of scenery.

  25. For the Panthers no deal should risk future draft picks. If taking Baker, he is only signed for the coming year….either Baker for Sam. Or take Baker with the salary and a draft pick from the Brownies.

  26. byaaah says:
    At this point I assume Watson will be suspended for the 2022 season. Browns burned the Baker bridge and don’t have Case Keenum anymore… the browns are gonna brown
    —————-
    Watson might be exempt this year, and suspended after the lawsuits are resolved.

  27. This is framed very oddly. The problem (as with most trades) is compensation. Both in terms of draft pick(s) from Carolina and how much of Mayfield’s salary the Browns are covering. From this article is appears the Panthers have provided their max draft pick and feel the Browns need to pick up more salary. From the Browns perspective they would likely be willing to pick up more salary for a higher draft pick.

    Framing this just as a compensation is ignoring the fact that if the Panthers gave an unconditional first rounder the Browns would have no problem paying Baker’s entire salary.

  28. Dear PJ Walker: Don’t unpack your bags. If the Panthers get the Brown’s to pay Mayfield’s 2022 paychecks, then Carolina can keep Darnold and Mayfield while they bring up Corral and prepare him to be the starter of the future (if/when Darnold and Mayfield don’t pan out). That leaves no room for Walker.

  29. “Mayfield and Darnold have the same salary in 2022. Maybe these two teams should trade for each others QB that they don’t want.”

    Exactly, Florio said the same thing a few weeks ago. The Browns are going to need a QB anyway with Watson out and Mayfield is not going to be an option. Or trade him to the 49ers and pick up their Jimmy G junk in return.

  30. Count me as wanting the Panthers to be willing to budge. Darnold is a great guy and I believe it likely is looking better in practice. Problem is when the games get heated, he has shown he folds.

    If Tepper thinks fans were checking out last year, wait until this season begins to go down the tubes due to QB play and we know a couple of million dollars would have made a big impact.

  31. I think there’s a tiny chance that the Browns won’t have Deshaun available next year.

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