Which teams should be thinking about making a run at Baker Mayfield?

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For weeks, two teams have been linked to Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield — the Panthers and the Seahawks. With all teams in position to study film from offseason workouts and with plenty of teams perhaps not having clear answers at the position, which teams should be at least pondering the possibility of a potential upgrade from their current projected starter to Mayfield?

On this weekend featuring not much actual news, now is as good a time as any to try to identify the universe of teams that should at least be thinking about Mayfield. Here they are, in no particular order.

The Browns.

If Judge Sue L. Robinson decides that Deshaun Watson should miss the entire season, or if on appeal the Commissioner makes that ruling, the Browns will need a quarterback for all of 2022. Mayfield makes the most sense, on paper. Unfortunately, the bridge between Baker and the Browns has been obliterated. The only way to mend fences would be for the Browns to offer him more money and an unimpeded path to the open market in 2023. Even then, it’s probably not enough.

The Steelers.

When the Steelers made quarterback Kenny Pickett the 20th overall pick in the draft, the door seemingly slammed on the possibility of Mayfield making a beeline to the ‘Burgh if he’s ultimately cut by the Browns. But with Pickett by all appearances not ready to play, isn’t Mayfield (if healthy) a better option than Mitch Trubisky? Mayfield definitely is. And while that would be an intriguing answer for 2022, it could throw a wrench in the plans for 2023, if the Steelers have a great year with Mayfield. Some would call that a good problem to have.

The Panthers.

They’re reportedly still haggling with the Browns over the amount of money the two teams would pay toward Mayfield’s 2022 guaranteed salary of $18.8 million. At some point, the logjam needs to be broken. If the Panthers wait too long, one of these other teams may snatch him.

The Falcons.

Baker Mayfield is a better option than Marcus Mariota. Maybe the Falcons will come to terms with that during the slow weeks. Maybe they’ll realize that it won’t get any easier to get people to buy tickets and attend games absent a quarterback who plays well enough to make an NFC South also-ran into a potential contender.

The Seahawks.

Despite periodic reports of significant interest, they’ve done nothing to demonstrate it clearly and conclusively. Maybe they’re simply playing the cards close to the vest in the hopes that he’ll eventually be released. Regardless, the Seahawks are doing a good job of selling the idea that they’re comfortable with Geno Smith or that new darling of the U.S. Open, Drew Lock.

The Saints.

They were one of the teams pursuing Deshaun Watson. That necessarily makes them a potential contender for Mayfield, despite the presence of Jameis Winston. Maybe the Saints genuinely believe that Winston when healthy is better than Mayfield when healthy. Reasonable minds definitely would differ on that point.

The Lions.

Those familiar with this specific web destination may remember that I’ve been trying to type this one into existence. Mayfield is better than Jared Goff. Period. And Mayfield much better fits the current vibe that coach Dan Campbell is trying to create than the California kid who landed in what must feel to him like Bizarro Oz.

The Giants.

The new power structure didn’t pick up the fifth-year option on Daniel Jones. Although they refuse to explain it this way, they basically are betting that he won’t be good enough to make them want to apply the much pricier franchise tag in 2023. Isn’t Mayfield better and more accomplished than Jones? Yes and yes. If the Giants aren’t sold that Jones will be the guy for 2023, why not grab Mayfield now and see if he can become the future for a team that is still trying to adequately replace Eli Manning?

The Texans.

They claim to be all in with Davis Mills. And, in fairness to Mills, he’s possibly working his way toward a fairly high ceiling. Still, if the goal is to win now, Mayfield is the better option. And while they could have had him as part of the Watson trade, the Browns likely would have placed too much value on Mayfield at the time. As part of a separate transaction, the Texans possibly could get him for a lot less.

The 49ers.

Could the best bridge to the Trey Lance era not be Jimmy G. but Baker Mayfield? Maybe. But they’ll be far better off letting Lance commence the process of becoming the best version of himself that he eventually will be.

The Dolphins.

I know I said I’d list the teams in no particular order, but I saved this one for last. TuAnon won’t like this, one bit. But let’s be fair. Mayfield, when healthy, can do much more than Tua has ever done. And with Mike McDaniel drawing up the plays, Mayfield could be exactly what the Dolphins need to hit their full potential in 2022 and beyond. If they can get him for cheap, they definitely should consider it. Even if they won’t.

That’s the full list. It probably means he’ll end up with a team that didn’t make the cut. Regardless, if he’s healthy, Mayfield has the ability to be very good. He could be the difference between making the playoffs and not qualifying. He could be the difference between one-and-out and winning a playoff game or two. Don’t let a 2021 season marred by a nasty Week Two shoulder injury cloud that reality.

72 responses to “Which teams should be thinking about making a run at Baker Mayfield?

  1. if he had any value some team would have made the trade..the truth is Baker worth is the league min .. another day of nothing to report..

  2. Just good enough to get you a bad draft pick. A ringing endorsement if I’ve ever heard one!

  3. Wow…there is some crazy speculation there.

    Only real options are seahawks and Panthers. No way the other teams disrupt their teams for a short term solution

    Baker would stay in CLE if they guarantee him 2 years at Deshawns rate. Otherwise no chance he’ll return there

  4. Goff isn’t great, but what has Baker Mayfield ever achieved in the NFL?

  5. Here’s the thing, Browns own him for another year and the smart thing for the Browns to do is tell Baker, “Hey, we’re gonna need you to start for us this year for the 18.8 million bucks you’re contracted for”.
    It would be foolish and egotistical for him to refuse. He wouldn’t get paid, he’d lose a year of his career, the Browns really wouldn’t be out anything cuz they won’t have to pay him. They don’t have to cut him or trade him. He really doesn’t have any leverage in the situation. Play ball, Baker. Do as good as you can, put the Browns in the rear-view mirror next season and enjoy your life.

  6. Carson Wentz,Marcus Mariota and Jamies Winston has proven a 1st round drafted QB gets 3-4 chances before the league deems them useless. Baker will get another shot and possibly a 3rd and 4th shot too. Who knows?!?!?

  7. He will be the starting QB of the Browns they already have to pay him an they will smooth it over. Nothing to see here.

  8. Or these teams:

    Hamilton Tiger Cats
    Edmonton Eskimos
    Montreal Alouettes
    New Jersey Generals
    Birmingham Stallions
    Worcester County Wildcats

  9. NONE! Baker Manziel is a selfish PoS and the Browns we’re willing to give Watson $237M guaranteed with pending lawsuits just to move on from him…. Take a hint rest of the NFL

  10. Miami. If Brady can’t go there due to tampering charges against creepy Ross,they would need an uograde.

  11. I was thinking Panthers all along but now I’m intrigued by the Lions.

    Irresponsible to even mention Miami. That’s border line trolling and the explanation is even worse. Dolphins couldn’t be more committed to Tua and for good reason.

  12. The person who wrote this article is clearly Baker Mayfield. Since when was he “clearly” better than Winston, Goff, and Mitch ?

  13. the browns don’t want mayfield Deshaun Watson won’t miss a game in 2022

  14. Baker needs some humble pie. I’m a Browns fan who named my dog Baker. Dude will be out of the league quick if he don’t find an opportunity.

  15. I think Baker is a capable starter and can lead a playoff team IF their is talent around him. I also think Mariota and Bisky could be those things now they have been in the league a minute. Both were very raw from different stand points but very talented athletes with a little understudy time I would be willing to role the dice with them while not having to give up anything, remember all these guys need every tool possible around them to win.

    Unfortunately for Baker this is bad time to look for QB work. Teams have their QB prospects or their plans in place. He also isn’t good enough to make a bad team good so if you are the Lions who are looking to bridge the gap why bring in bridge gap 2.0? The difference between the two wouldn’t be more than a win or two. Panthers make the most sense from their stand point but that is a franchise about to fire their coach and their over paid star will be hurt before this comment is approved.

  16. 2023 Lions, bet on it. He’s a Dan Campbell type of guy and it might just work out.

  17. As a Texans fan who watched every start by Mills last year, I believe that Mills will have a better statistical season next year than Mayfield, where ever he ends up. Mills was better than Mayfield last year with the worst talent in the NFL around him. I realize that Mayfield played hurt, but c’mon….. Mills going into his 2nd year will be the surprise of the NFL, in my humble opinion. Bringing in Baker Mayfield would be insane and counter productive for the Texans.

  18. Baker Mayfield will be starting QB for Tampa Bay Bucs 2023 season. Book it. Once Brady is gone, think about what better opportunity for someone like him to step into- winning culture built over several seasons- all key contributors signed for 2 or more years…if I were him I’d have that pinned on top of my dart board, keep my mouth shut, and bide my time. Who else realistically will the Bucs be able to target…Jimmy G? The failed 2rd Trask? Blaine Gabbert? Might as well make a call to Manziel then too…Jalen Hurts isn’t going anywhere and neither is Lammar Jackson. It’s Baker or bust next year for Bucs…

  19. NO TEAM should make a run at Baker. What has he done to DESERVE a team making a run when there are other talented QBs with better attitudes and more talent out there? You make a run at Jimmy Garopolo or Matt Ryan, not Mayfield. He’s so OVERRATED! And every team mentioned in this article is better off without that lockerroom cancer! He had people believing OBJ was cancer, but OBJ came here to LA and was the CURE! I used to be a big Baker Mayfield fan, but I woke up! He’s mediocre at best! And stop making excuses for him about how injured he was. So was nearly every other QB. And how dare you mention the Saints as a landing spot. Jameis Winston is a FAR SUPERIOR QB and his teammates love him! So, PLEASE, stop that nonsense. Let Baker get the Johnny Manziel 2.0 treatment. He made his bed, now he must lay in it.

  20. The Panthers seem like a good spot for him. They aren’t nearly as dysfuncional as the Browns, who knows maybe he could be halfway decent or even good!

  21. Mayfield has thrown the most INTs in the NFL the last four seasons.

    Not like he didn’t have any talent around him either.

  22. Saints would get a clear upgrade and the Saints might have a better chance at challenging for the division title…

    Lions would be better with Mayfield…

    Most likely the Panthers!

  23. Even if the Giants send back Tyrod Taylor, they can’t pay Baker’s salary. He’d have to take a pay cut. You ain’t wrong but it’s not like Baker for Leonard Williams is happening. Baker to the Giants is only a possibility if they add years and lower cap hit.

  24. Being a fan of the AFC north. Watched Mayfield many times. He is a really good football player. Being injured last year hurt him. He should have got fixed. Sat. Healed. I don’t think anything would be diff now but he would be much farther along health wise

  25. Yeah hes better than most, maybe even all of the QBs on the teams listed, but I dont see most of those teams trying to squeeze out a couple more wins with Mayfield. Maybe the Panthers. Matt Rhule will be gone with another bad season. That would be my pick of who gives first. A distant 2nd maybe Seattle, as hes a clear upgrade there, but I dont think Pete Carroll requires a couple extra wins to be safe. Bakers kind of a douche but he was definitely done wrong in Cleveland.

  26. How can you rip on Davis Mills when he won the same number of games with the same roster as the $268 million dollar “star”?

  27. The smart GM’s won’t let anyone know they’re interested until they pull the trigger on a trade deal and a contract extension is all done.

  28. Can’t believe you listed Tua. There is not a snowball’s chance in hell of that happening. You know this so this is just riling up the Dolphins fans. Mike McDaniel would not have landed the job if he wasn’t going to give it a shot with Tua.

  29. We just gonna act like the Browns have a QB this season? Broken relationship or not, they will have to sign another an to fill roster space.. thankfully, they have a guy already under contract for 18 mil..

  30. Not easy to succeed in this league if you are short. Only some greats with special foot work and superior read of the field like Tarkenton, Brees, Wilson. I may have omitted some , but we are still talking here about a 50 years span.

  31. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mayfield traded to a team as a backup QB. Good insurance in case of an injury, and good probability that they could get him for a backup’s price as well.

    Imagine the Packers trading Love (plus maybe a low round draft pick) for Mayfield, but the Browns still paying Mayfield’s full salary minus what Love is owed. They’d get a new backup QB and get rid of their headache for the same amount of money.

    The same could be said for Minnesota or New England or, hell, even Cincinnati. One year with a better-than-average backup QB for the same price they’d pay for an average QB? Some teams may realize their QB1 is being overpaid to produce at Mayfield levels. (I’m looking at you, Minnesota.)

  32. The Colts should have jumped at the chance to get Baker. Matty Ice is a short term solution to a long term problem for the Colts. The Colts were too quick to give up on Wentz and now they let Baker slip through their fingers.

  33. Play it out this year with the dysfunctional Brownies … take their money … and become a complete free agent in 2023. Living well is the best revenge.

  34. henrythehorse says:

    July 3, 2022 at 7:45 pm

    if he had any value some team would have made the trade..the truth is Baker worth is the league min .. another day of nothing to report
    That’s not close to being accurate. The simple fact that the Panthers have reportedly been willing to trade for him just not at his full salary(reports are Panthers only want to pay 5 to 10 million) shows his value isnt “league minimum”. To take it a step further it’s not only the salary that your trading for but it also means your giving up additional assets, so just because Mayfield maybe worth 10 million it’s different to say hes worth 10 million PLUS a cost controlled pick and oh hes also on the last yr of his deal 🤦‍♂️

  35. sharpdressedfan17 says:

    July 3, 2022 at 8:13 pm

    Carson Wentz,Marcus Mariota and Jamies Winston has proven a 1st round drafted QB gets 3-4 chances before the league deems them useless. Baker will get another shot and possibly a 3rd and 4th shot too. Who knows?!?!?
    Except the qbs you listed other than Wentz hasn’t had a “3rd or 4th” chance but instead your just rambling and making stuff up using qb names people are down on. Mariota never had a chance to start with the Raiders so that’s 2 chances, Winston has only been on 2 teams

  36. I wouldn’t trade for him, let the Browns suffer from the cap hit cut him than pick him up on free agency

  37. Baker isn’t a better option than Goff, Mariota, Trubusky or Darnold. He’s the same option as Goff, Mariota, Trubisky, Darnold and Jameis Winston and Carson Wentz. All these guys were QBs drafted at the very top of the 1st round and none of them lived up to those picks. Baker Mayfield vs. any of those guys is just shuffling the deck. There is a reason why none of them are still on the team that drafted them with a top 3 overall draft pick. Baker is no different than the others.

  38. This is something that seems to me to be far more complicated than it should be. I will be surprised if Watson doesn’t miss a significant chunk of 2022. The Browns consider themselves a playoff team, and as such, I don’t think they want to go into that many games with the likes of Brisset starting for them. I just don’t. Likewise, every team in the league knows the Browns have zero leverage in a trade. They gave up the farm to get Watson making Mayfield irrelevant.

    To Florio’s point though, Mayfield should land somewhere. There aren’t 32 better QBs out there. To me, the smart move would be for the Browns to guarantee in writing that they won’t tag Mayfield should he play well. Mayfield gets a 6-17 game audition for his next team and can sign where he wants. I think that’s a win win scenario for both Cleveland and Mayfield. The real loser could be Watson if he returns from his suspension and doesn’t at least match Mayfield’s performance.

  39. The Niners would make a lot of sense because of their loaded roster – and they would NOT have to count on Sudfeld.

  40. Having Goff in Detroit feels like bizarro oz to me, too. However, just eyeballing stats, I don’t think Baker has been a better qb than Goff has. Goff is much more accurate, has more yards on average, and has a better qbr, while Mayfield has better rushing stats, more td’s, and probably better escapability. Intangibles might be a different story.

  41. When the game’s on the line and you need a winning drive,who do you call? When a play breaks down and you need nothing turned into something,who do you think of? Certainly not Baker Reagan Mayfield.I don’t get the over exuberant love for this guy.

  42. I know there’s a lot of hate for Baker but for some odd reason I like the kid and think he has potential with a good team around him. I think the Bucs should make a move for him and he can sit behind Brady for at least a year.

  43. No way on Baker. We have money and we are flexible right now. Our free agent plan was to get lotto tickets that we could throw away next year and get the money back if it doesn’t work out. Lions and Pistons pretty much doing the same thing with there money and contracts.

  44. Isn’t his excuse that he injured his left shoulder and not his right throwing arm?

    Let’s face it… he is not a NFL starter and at this point no team is going to give draft capital or take on that contract for a 1 year rental.

  45. I’m a Giants fan and if the Browns cut Baker I’d be in favor of signing him to a prove it deal. Let him duke it out with Jones, let the best man win. Truth is neither of them is probably good enough but maybe the competition will bring out the best in one of them.

  46. Falcons fans are an intense group and they’d eat Baker alive, not to mention compare him unfavorably to Vick. If Matt Ryan were still there, however, then I could’ve seen the value of Mayfield learning humility/leadership/
    professionalism under him for a year. But Matt is in Indy, and Atlanta would rather go with Mariotta mentoring Desmond Ritter, and, you know, who can blame them?

  47. He’d have to take less money, but his best option is to get rid of the beard, change his name to Major Bakefield, and become the 2022 starting QB for Lake Travis High.

  48. tiredofcowards says:
    July 3, 2022 at 7:56 pm
    Here’s the thing, Browns own him for another year and the smart thing for the Browns to do is tell Baker, “Hey, we’re gonna need you to start for us this year for the 18.8 million bucks you’re contracted for”.
    It would be foolish and egotistical for him to refuse. He wouldn’t get paid, he’d lose a year of his career, the Browns really wouldn’t be out anything cuz they won’t have to pay him. They don’t have to cut him or trade him. He really doesn’t have any leverage in the situation. Play ball, Baker. Do as good as you can, put the Browns in the rear-view mirror next season and enjoy your life.

    And wouldn’t be a pie in Cleveland’s face if he had a decent year? That would be something. Also, I am asking is his final year guaranteed? So that the Browns would have to pay him no matter what? They already excused him from showing up so that couldn’t be used against him. I thought that was a lot of the hang up of trading him and paying out most of his contract. I don’t know, I am just asking….

  49. Giants makes no sense. They have zero cap room, they’re trying to see if Jones has anything, and if not, they’re gonna draft their guy. This is so stupid.

  50. Mayfield Career Stats: 87.8 rating/92TD/56INT – 30-30 W/L
    Trubisky Career Stats: 87 rating/64TD/38INT – 34-23 W/L

    And Mayfield played with considerably more talent than Mitch, and far better coaching as of late. Give me a break. I’d take Trubisky over that china doll locker room problem every day of the week.

  51. The Steelers should trade for Jimmy G. He is a great locker room presence and was a very good mentor for Trey Lance. I don’t really understand why any team would want Mayfield. He hasn’t proven he can win, is short, and has a bad attitude. Seattle is his best chance as Pete Carrol is tolerant, but that roster isn’t going to bring out any hidden Mayfield talents that no one has seen yet.

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