Baker Mayfield is about to hit the waiver wire.
The Panthers plan to waive Mayfield today, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
For Carolina, the move makes a lot of sense: Mayfield has played poorly this season, and he’s the third-best quarterback on the roster behind Sam Darnold and PJ Walker. Trading for him this offseason proved to be a mistake. (And getting rid of him proved to be a good move by the Browns.)
But where it really gets interesting is the possibility that some other team could think Mayfield can make an impact this season. First up would be the 49ers, who just lost Jimmy Garoppolo for the season. Kyle Shanahan might think he could get Mayfield up to speed quickly enough that Mayfield could perhaps be a better option than Brock Purdy as the 49ers make a push to the playoffs.
And that could incentivize other teams to claim Mayfield just to keep him off the 49ers. The Seahawks, for instance, may not want Mayfield to get to San Francisco as the NFC West race heats up down the stretch. And the Seahawks are ahead of the 49ers in the waiver order.
Of course, it’s also possible, given how Mayfield has played this season, that no one will claim him. In that case, he’d become an unrestricted free agent.