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.