Report: A Baker Mayfield-for-Sam Darnold trade is “very unlikely”

Cleveland Browns v New York Jets
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A Browns’ trade of Baker Mayfield to the Panthers remains a possibility, but a report Wednesday indicates it won’t be a Mayfield-for-Sam Darnold deal.

Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com reports that a Mayfield-for-Darnold swap is “very unlikely” and quotes a source who said he is “confident it’s not happening.”

Such a deal makes sense for both sides given the quarterbacks both are under contract for 2022 at the fifth-year option amount of $18.86 million, which is fully guaranteed. Darnold was drafted two spots after Mayfield, at No. 3 overall by the Jets in 2018.

The Browns want to — and need to — move on from Mayfield after trading for Deshaun Watson. But, per Cabot, they are comfortable with Jacoby Brissett and Josh Dobbs as their quarterbacks in the event Watson is suspended for part or all of 2022. Brissett has started 37 career games and Dobbs none.

Darnold has started 49 career games.

Mayfield, though, still could end up as the starter in Carolina.

The Panthers want the Browns to pay the lion’s share of Mayfield’s salary to do the deal, which is why Mayfield remains a member of the Browns as the offseason programs end.

19 responses to “Report: A Baker Mayfield-for-Sam Darnold trade is “very unlikely”

  1. One thing for sure there is to much smoke here, and usually when there is smoke there is fire. So it would not surprise me now if it does happen.

  2. Brissett is better than Darnold, so unless you’re keeping Darnold as a 3rd stringer, then there’s absolutely no point to do this. Just cut Mayfield, eat the money and move on.

  3. Baker would at least see the field in CAR or SEA, probably no other legit landing spots. Maybe insurance in CHI if Fields chumps out

  4. I could see a trade to Seattle for Geno and some picks. Whatever they do Cleveland will do it wrong.

  5. This trade conversation has become the longest pillow fight in the history of pillow fights.

  6. Browns blew it when they let Seattle draft Bo Callahan. Its been down hill ever since.

  7. Baker Mayfield has underperformed his draft slot but he did win a playoff game. Sam Darnold straight up stinks. He is of no use to the Browns, so they ain’t taking him back.

  8. Neither team wants the QB’s they have under the 5th year option. Why not make a deal? Maybe Darnold performs better around a better team?

  9. Doesn’t Baker at this point end up being a Marriota or Trabisky. Drafted high to be franchise QB, now has the bust stamp, but will get a backup QB job with a chance to turn your career around at least one time.

  10. Mayfield and Darnold need not worry too much about their future’s. If it turns out their time as NFL starters has come and gone, they can both walk away after this season with what amounts to an almost $20 million golden parachute. Nice launching pad for the rest of your life, eh?

  11. Drafting 32 year old rb Ray Jennings in the top ten didn’t help either.

  12. Damn those 5th year guarantees! Both teams have a $19M albatross around their neck, and optimists believe Sam can eventually shake off the harm Adam Gase did, and that a change of scenery will stop Baker from being a self-absorbed locker room problem. A lot of teams would be interested in a roll of the dice if the guaranteed money wasn’t there. Meanwhile the brinkmanship between CAR and CLE provides an ongoing laugh.

  13. Trade the two straight up then release Darnold before the ink dries, easy peasey…

  14. Salary cap implications make this a non-starter and makes no sense from the Brown’s side of things.

  15. I continue to believe that there has to be more to the story with Mayfield if the Browns are willing to move on from him so quickly. He played injured and had a bad season. Sometimes players, even good ones, have bad seasons. People get cranky when they lose and say mean things or act out in public. But I have no question in my mind that Mayfield can start on a roster somewhere and be productive based on what I know and what I’ve seen. What else is going on that they want nothing to do with him and are willing to drag this out to the bitter end?

  16. Browns being very short sighted to be stubborn over paying whatever amount of Baker’s salary the Panthers want them to pay. Trade Baker, get a draft pick or two, forget about Darnold, pay most of Baker’s salary and move on.

  17. There is no way Cleveland will, or needs to, pay most of Baker’s salary. That makes no economic sense at all. If it doesn’t happen during the preseason, early in the new season some QB1’s will get injured. It’s inevitable. That will create the demand for Baker that allows for a better deal. No different than the scenario that brought a very mediocre Sam Bradford to the Vikings in 2016 in exchange for 1st and 4th round picks after Teddy Bridgewater got injured. Injuries will create desperation for some teams that think they otherwise have a strong team.

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