The sooner the Baker Mayfield situation is resolved, the better for everyone

NFL: JAN 03 Browns at Steelers
Getty Images

The NFL, like many businesses, is driven by deadlines. When it comes to the potential trade of Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, the deadline widely is viewed as the start of training camp. The truth is that the sooner the situation is resolved the better off everyone will be.

The Browns, Mayfield, and his new team will all benefit from permanently turning the page and moving on. The Browns clear the decks weeks before gathering for a camp that will be dominated by the Deshaun Watson situation. Mayfield will have certainty as to where he’ll be living and working in 2022, along with some extra time to have the kind of season that could set him up for a solid contract in 2023. And his new team will be able to get him started on reviewing the playbook, watching film (on his own, but still watching it), and otherwise getting himself mentally ready for the crash course to come.

The problem is that, unless everyone agrees to a clear date between now and the start of camp for getting something done, the start of camp will continue to be regarded as the deadline.

Multiple reports have indicated that the Browns have become willing to pay roughly half of Mayfield’s $18.8 million salary in order to facilitate a trade. These reports ignore the other key factor in the transaction — how much will the new team surrender in trade assets?

The lower the pick, the more the new team pays. The higher the pick, the lower the salary the new team shoulders. So maybe the Browns really are willing to pay half. To do that, maybe the Browns also expect more.

The Panthers have been linked most strongly to Mayfield. Some think the Seahawks are in play. I’m still trying to speak a trade to the Lions into existence.

At some point, don’t be surprised if Mayfield isn’t squeezed to cut his pay a little bit in order to get this done. Something like $1 million could be the amount that closes the gap and gives him his best chance to get himself properly ready to have the kind of season that will make him one of the hotter names on the open marker in 2023.

Plenty of folks who follow the league have short memories. A year ago, Mayfield was regarded as an ascending talent, a potential star. A Week Two shoulder injury derailed his 2021 season. In the right place with the right coaching and the right teammates, he could still be very good.

The sooner he gets to that place, the better.

72 responses to “The sooner the Baker Mayfield situation is resolved, the better for everyone

  1. Your analysis is spot on except for the nonsense about Baker Mayfield to Detroit. Enough already. His own coaches didn’t like him. His teammates didn’t like him. Your perspective notwithstanding, he does not appear to have any of the traits that Dan Campbell would want as a long-term solution a quarterback. Also, from a practical standpoint the Lions could not fit him under the salary cap and keep Goff. Not going to happen. Shouldn’t happen.

  2. Why would Baker take a pay cut? He’ll be starting for the Browns all season after Deshaun gets suspended.

  3. I’m in the thought that if he is playing on a “prove it year” in Carolina or Seattle, he might not have the offensive weapons to show what he can or cannot do. If it’s a bad team before he gets there, & he’s as good as he & some think he is, what difference will it truly make for him on the open market?
    A hot market is going to be hard to come by if you’re playing in Carolina especially. A starter in either place? Sure
    But with what overall talent to work with?

  4. As A long suffering Browns fan I noticed a couple things about Baker. He brought energy and attitude, something the Browns had been severely lacking for years. I was looking forward to a healthy Baker in year 3 with Stefanski. Then Haslam got involved and turned this into a circus. What a shame. Hope Baker balls out wherever he goes.

  5. I hope if Baker go somewhere else other than Pittsburgh he tears it up and the Browns fall into cap hell and Watson is suspended

  6. Baker Mayfield is an entitled brat and is just another Cleveland bust QB

  7. Baker is going to get his. He’ll be fine. I Love the guy. Cleveland is in chaos right now with this Watson mess and don’t let anybody tell you it’s not because I live here. We have no idea what is going on and Watson may not take the field until he gets ALL of his cases settled and it’s not class action so it could be dragged out for a long time. Everyone just wants everything to move on but justice doesn’t work that way and litigation is not easy. Haslam is not a great owner and they said they did their own investigation into Watson? How did that turn out? I wish Mayfield all the best. He’ll be fine. He deserved better. He was my guy.

  8. they gonna end up paying half his salary and GIVING picks not getting picks. Everyday he is like a house that hasn’t sold. Buyers have more and more leverage the longer the Browns wait. Just take whatever the Panthers or Seahawks or … is offering and move on


    The soonest we STOP hearing about ‘the predator’, the better everyone will be!

  10. I will be willing to bet Baker does not cut his salary, and why should he. Doing the Browns any favors is not in his interest. Cannot blame him at all. Most likely Baker and Jimmy will be cut before to long. Both teams cannot hold on to these guys and the other teams know it.

  11. I’d love to see Mayfield end up in Houston and lead the Texans to the playoffs this year.

  12. The best thing for Mayfield is to play out 2022 with the Browns.

    1) They’re the best roster he’ll be a part of.

    2) Playing through this situation will clear up any doubts about his attitude for a new team in 2023.

    Deshaun Watson is likely getting a one year suspension. Play with the Browns, hopefully you do well and then you can write your ticket to probably 5-10 teams next season. If you go to the Panthers and don’t do well that could be the end of your future as a starter in the NFL. We’re talking about a potential $100M difference.

  13. Well I doubt its better for the NFL. And it may not be better for Watson.

    Anything that distracts from the actual Watson lawsuits suits them well.

  14. The Browns and the 9ers both blew it. Each had an injured quarterback they overpriced to receive maximum market return and ended up stuck with a quarterback that is virtually worthless due to their lack of understanding of the market and their own pure greed. Sure, now they’re hoping some other team’s quarterback suffers a season-ending injury and they’ll cash in. In the meantime, each are saddled with $18 and $28 million against their 2022 salary caps. Cleveland can afford it — they have tons of cap space available, but the 9ers are stuck with the second lowest available cap space in the league. Only the Patriots are worse off.

  15. Not a Mayfield fan and he deserves better. Cleveland is getting exactly what they deserve.

  16. Bakers hasn’t been traded yet because he’s not very good. That’s all there is to it.

  17. For all of those “Deshaun Watson is so good because he led the league in yards that one time when his team went 4-12” people: Baker career yards in 4 seasons, 14,125. Deshaun in seasons 14,539. Not that much different.

  18. Don’t forget that the Browns open their season against the Panthers so their incentive is to give Mayfield & the Panthers as little time as possible to prepare. Losing to Mayfield week 1 would be humiliating for them.

    I’ve been a Browns fans since the mid eighties when I was first old enough to understand football. This is the first season ever where I just don’t know if I can root for them anymore. It’s worse than watching 0-16. It’s so disheartening.

  19. What do the Brown’s front office care, you think they actually care about looking bad?!

  20. I like Baker. I thunk he got the rawest of deals from Cleveland. Good luck Baker. Hope you land somewhere where you are wanted

  21. He’s a starting QB in the NFL with a manageable salary. Zero reason he should take a pay cut just because the Browns are the Browns.

    He and his agent should just sit firm and force the Browns to eat his whole guaranteed salary by cutting him, then go to the Giants and steal that job.

  22. Are we just going to ignore the distinct probability that Watson will be suspended??

  23. Wild how badly Cleveland played their hand. Would much rather have a middle of the road QB than roll the dice for someone who will likely miss time. Desaun is much better but he and baker have the same amount of playoff wins

  24. He’d be great in Detroit as well as in seattles system, but the chip on his shoulder after this debacle plays well in Detroit with Dan Cambell’s approach to the game.

  25. It’s going to be fun to watch. No team creates more problems for themselves than the Brownies. Sometimes it seems like they do it on purpose just to mess with their fans.

  26. Browns are just delaying this to see how the Watson fiasco works out before dealing him to another team.

  27. The Browns are afraid to dump Baker at this point. They arent sure if their $240 million man will ever take the field for them. Who knows how many more women are going to file against him… Baker is insurance for the Browns.

  28. About a quarter of the league changed starting QB’s this offseason, and they all took a pass on Mayfield. That’s the hang up. If a club wanted him as their starter, his contract would not be an issue.

  29. Baker will not adjust his salary down to help facilitate a trade. Professional football is all about money. Its not ‘ for the live of the game’ for the players. If he sits and does not play, he benefits as that gives him tikme to heal further. While his shoulder surgery may be healed, he’s not 100 %. That takes a much longer time to achieve.

  30. is no one thinking that his best option is to play in Cleveland this year? what better than having a ticked off qb auditioning for a new team and contract? he already knows the system, better than Jacoby Brissett, Mr Rub down is not going to play this year. Things are already awkward & life has a funny way with situations like these

  31. Baker is getting hosed like Brian Drew in Draft Day. Except they signed Beau and told Brian to GFHS. What team did that movie center on, again?

  32. I don’t see it that way. He is under contract and being paid more than anyone is willing to pay him for his services. If nobody is willing to trade for him then he would play out his contract and be free to leave. Should he be a distraction or act unprofessional I would then fire him for actions detrimental to the team. Only fools would pay a guy to play for someone else, especially with the high compensation these athletes are making.

  33. If Baker takes a pay cut he should also negotiate a no franchise tag clause.

  34. gtmcneill says:
    June 20, 2022 at 4:38 pm
    Two reasons why they didn’t ask questions of the DA:

    1. They didn’t know what answers they would get.

    2. They didn’t WANT to know the answers they would get.

    The Haslems got involved and agreed to the trade and contract AFTER Andrew Berry and the front office personnel went to them explaining they had seen enough of Baker and needed a better quarterback.

    Baker has heart and spunk. That wins a lot of games for you in High School and College. In the pros, alot of players have heart and spunk, that’s why talent comes into play. I really liked Baker—he just didn’t have the talent. Theres a reason his carreer stats show he’s an average qb at best. He was very inconsistent–despite his heart and spunk. I wish him well.

  35. chickenbiscuit says:
    June 20, 2022 at 10:37 pm
    For all of those “Deshaun Watson is so good because he led the league in yards that one time when his team went 4-12” people: Baker career yards in 4 seasons, 14,125. Deshaun in seasons 14,539. Not that much different.
    Did you forget that Baker played started six more games over those 4 seasons? Did you forget that Mayfield threw 20 more interceptions. You also overlooked Watson having 24 more TDs passing/rushing. Not that much different. Right? I’ll just throw this on your weak comment, Mayfield had 0 4th quarter comebacks last season. Enjoy you some Baker!

  36. Baker might be a better fit than Geno or Locke. However, the cost involved for Seattle likely is prohibitive. They’d probably prefer to simply draft a QB next year.

  37. Baker just needs to stay patient because time is on his side. It’s the Browns who are likely going to get desperate. They already are lacking leverage in moving him and the minute Watson is suspended the roof is going to cave in on them. They have no history of making smart decisions so the longer this drags on the higher the probability they’re going to goof things up even worse.

  38. How many more prima madonnas does Cleveland need? Manziel? Mayfield? Watson??? Who is next in line for the factory of sadness????

  39. If the Browns don’t trade or cut him, I hope he holds out.

    That said, to the guy that said trade him to Houston, the Texans have Davis Mills and don’t need any distractions.

  40. The Browns fully guaranteed 230 mill to Watson. Why on earth would Baker agree to drop a mill off what they owe him. The only way that would make any sense is if he was the one who dictated where he ended up. From the sounds of things, the Browns aren’t exactly consulting him on much.

    Plus if Baker ends up on a distressed team, it really isn’t going to do him any good anyway. He might well be better off sitting for a year, getting his 18 mil and then having the ability to go to any team in the league next year.

  41. touchback6 says:
    June 20, 2022 at 9:25 pm
    What if Watson is suspeneded?


    It could happen. Either way, our Pats defense still couldn’t stop Josh Allen even once

  42. Baker’s value is low right now. That’s not entirely his fault. But that’s the reality. He’s damaged goods. Nobody is going to give the Browns anything of value to take on his salary- even if they know he’s an upgrade at the position. You only give that up if you think he’s a long-term solution. He’ll end up somewhere, possibly as a backup, with the Browns paying most of his salary, and then he’ll see where he can end up next year with a chance to start. If he wants to start again, he has to re-earn that.

  43. Everyone saying make the Browns cut you and get your full salary with another team are dreaming. The Browns don’t need to cut him. They have room under their salary cap. The Browns are going to pay him and keep him on the roster for doing nothing, unless a better trade offer comes along. If Baker really wants to go now, then he needs to look at some type of a contract buyout.

  44. There is market of teams competing for what Browns think they can demand, they will have to cut him.

  45. The sooner Baker Mayfield is flipping burgers the better for everyone. This guy is a total scrub. He couldnt even go .500 with elite talent all around him. Good luck to whoever signs this guy.

  46. MortimerInMiami says:
    June 20, 2022 at 9:11 pm
    Baker > DeShaun


    What? The player? What?

  47. There’s a reason no team has tried to get him. Yet several went after Watson despite his legal problems.

    He’s undersized with limited athletic ability – meaning he won’t age well as far as QBs go.

    Would he be better than the current QBs on Seattle’s roster?


    Is he good enough to win a SB?


    Play out the year and draft the QB next draft.

  48. I’m not a fan but he seems to play better when he is dissed or angry so I think the next team may get his best game. At times he has played very well. I think people saying Burrow was a much better QB than him fired him up enough to beat Cincy last year.

  49. The ONLY way a trade makes sense for any team is if it’s trade and sign deal. Any team that takes him in a trade without also signing him to an extension is simply stupid. Why in the world would you spend money and draft capital for a 1 year rental that won’t put you in the SB but will likely ensure you have a worse draft position next year?

  50. Baker is an arrogant jerk with limited talent and size. Teams don’t want him, or he would have been snapped up already. He was good in college. In the big boy league, not so much. He isn’t going anywhere, “sooner” or later! If/when Watson is suspended, I wonder what they’ll do if/when Baker refuses to play. At least I don’t think we’ll have to see him in any more of those dopey commercials again. Popcorn is ready….

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.