Which teams may make a claim for Baker Mayfield?

Carolina Panthers v Baltimore Ravens
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The Panthers released quarterback Baker Mayfield on Monday. All teams have until 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday to make a waivers claim for the balance of Mayfield’s contract.

It’s five games, at a total financial investment of $1.349 million.

There are three categories of teams that could be interested. One, teams that would want him to play this year. Two, teams that would want to take advantage of the opportunity to spend five weeks with him, in order to evaluate whether to try to sign him for 2023. Three, teams that will want to keep him from landing with a rival.

Against that background, here are the teams to perhaps keep an eye on, in order of waiver priority.

Texans: They could have gotten Mayfield as part of the Deshaun Watson trade, and they didn’t want Mayfield. But that was when he was due to make $19.9 million for the full year. At $1.349 million for five games, why not kick the tires on him? Also, G.M. Nick Caserio was in New England when the Patriots apparently had interest in Mayfield, prior to the 2018 draft.

Rams: Matthew Stafford is on IR. John Wolford is the backup. Their next four games are scheduled for high-profile, nationally-televised, standalone spots. The league office is likely hoping that the Rams make a claim, since it will give people some reason to watch games that otherwise will be unwatchable.

Broncos: George Paton worked for the Vikings when G.M. Rick Spielman took a flier on Josh Freeman, after he’d been cut by the Buccaneers. Why did Spielman do it? Because there are too few franchise quarterbacks in the NFL. When you have a chance to potentially get one, you take it. Of course, the Russell Wilson angle makes that a little more delicate. But what if Mayfield currently is a better player than Wilson? That would have sounded crazy three months ago. It doesn’t today.

Saints: Andy Dalton is the starter for now. Who takes over next year? Why not bring in Mayfield for a five-week evaluation? Given that a healthy Jameis Winston is just hanging around, they could add Mayfield and waive Jameis.

Colts: During that podcast in the offseason with the dog on the couch next to him, Mayfield mentioned the Colts as a potential destination. The podcast was taped before the Colts landed Matt Ryan. On one hand, Jeff Saturday wants to do well enough to get the job. On the other hand, the Colts surely would like to put Ryan back in bubble wrap and avoid owing him another $17 million next year, if he can’t pass a physical by the middle of March. Also, it would be part of the broader quarterback evaluation for 2023.

Falcons: Why not see what Mayfield can do, as a potential 2023 option (or as a guy who can play down the stretch)? Marcus Mariota likely won’t be around next year. Desmond Ridder is still unproven.

Raiders: Coach Josh McDaniels worked out Mayfield just before the 2018 draft. Yes, Derek Carr has played extremely well in the past few weeks. But if McDaniels sees something in Mayfield, why not bring him in to see what he can do now, at least in practice.

Lions: John Dorsey drafted Mayfield in 2018, when Dorsey was in Cleveland. He’s now in Detroit. Rick Spielman’s brother, Chris, is in the front office. Between Dorsey’s knowledge of Mayfield and Rick’s attitude regarding franchise quarterbacks, why not bring him in and get to know him? Jared Goff has played well, but not well enough to slam the door on a dalliance with Mayfield.

Patriots: They had interest in Mayfield before the 2018 draft, sneaking in a late workout. From the perspective of paying $1.3 million and potentially getting extra compensatory draft-pick consideration if he leaves in free agency, it could be worth adding him to the roster for the rest of the season.

Buccaneers: When Bruce Arians was thinking about returning to coaching, he named the Browns as the only team he’d join. At the time, Mayfield was a rookie. With the position unsettled for 2023, does it make sense to squat on Mayfield, with the goal of signing him after the season? Maybe it does.

Commanders: They’re clearly looking for a long-term answer at the position. It’s a low-cost chance to evaluate a possible successor to Carson Wentz/Taylor Heinicke. Also, quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese served in that role in Cleveland during Mayfield’s very good rookie year. His departure was believed to be one of the big reasons for Mayfield’s regression in 2019.

Seahawks: At one point, the Seahawks were regarded as the favorite to trade for him. They currently don’t need him as a player. But putting in a waivers claim could keep the 49ers from getting him.

Giants: Daniel Jones is due to be a free agent. Who will their quarterback be in 2023? That said, claiming Mayfield would likely end the pursuit of OBJ, immediately.

Ravens: It’s probably too awkward to bring Mayfield to town, given the uncertainty with Lamar Jackson. But with Lamar currently week-to-week with a knee injury and with Tyler Huntley the starter and with the playoffs in the balance, why not pursue a five-game rental — along with the compensatory pick on the back end?

49ers: Coach Kyle Shanahan seemed to suggest on Monday that the 49ers are fine with who they have. But there would be no reason for him to be candid about any interest. Beyond the potential tampering ramifications, Shanahan would be inviting a team like the Seahawks to make the claim and keep Mayfield from landing there.

Chiefs: It’s highly unlikely that Mayfield would make it this deep into the priority list, but wouldn’t it make sense to have Mayfield as the understudy to Patrick Mahomes, not Chad Henne? Mayfield gave the Chiefs all they could handle in the 2020 playoffs and in Week One of the 2021 season — one week before derailing his season, and career, by suffering a shoulder injury while trying to make a tackle.

61 responses to “Which teams may make a claim for Baker Mayfield?

  1. Baker had amazing roster to work with other qbs would dream of , excellent run game and receivers at Browns. And he blew i.t Hard to empathize with him.

    Needed be humble, he was full of himself.

  2. I doubt anyone picks him up. He’s 3rd string for a reason. Last season in Cleveland he got outplayed by another 3rd stringer. Time to admit his NFL career might be over.

  3. The Ravens angle intrigues me. Unfortunately they’re lower on the claim pole than others. Also, not sure if they have the cap space.

  4. Packers – Rodgers will be back, Love will be traded, don’t have to gamble on a QB prospect in the 1st round in 2023.

  5. Fourth type of team:
    Mayfield in the Tyrod Taylor role; i.e the team plans on drafting a QB in the first round and needs a bridge QB for the first 4/8/12/15 weeks.

  6. Feel like it would be a waste for the Seahawks to claim Mayfield, give him a roster spot, cut someone else, make him learn the playbook, etc just to keep him from going to SF and giving him a chance to earn a contract.

  7. at least the panthers did the right thing and give him his release to see if he can get a job elsewhere, thats a classy organization. He is better than at least 5 starting qb’s currently, maybe 7. he is a cheap shot in the dark for these fringe teams and how many times have guys like mayfield been lightening in a bottle for a few weeks, case in point nick foles. he is also better then a washed up andy dalton, matt ryan, goff.

  8. You would think he is a good Qb based off this write up. He is a bum now passed on by two teams in under a year.

  9. I don’t think anyone needs a further evaluation. There is plenty of tape already, very little of it supporting a starting role.

    Teams might be interested in a backup, but considering how few game are left and the challenge of learning new systems and terminology in time to be productive this year as compared to QBs they may have on roster who at least know the plays, I expect teams will be willing to wait until the season ends before turning attention to Mayfield. Perhaps they are willing to sign him to a PS slot but I don’t know if that counts as part of the waiver process.

  10. A 4th type will take him to get a comp pick awarded or less offset when he signs a FA contract next year.

  11. Are we talking about the guy who just lost his job to PJ Walker and then again to Sam Darnold as someone who will win the Superbowl for the 49ers? They have a way better shot with the guy who’s been there since training camp and knows the offence. Purify looked perfectly fine. If this was a top QB some how coming available, sure. But this is a guy who’s lost 3 starting jobs this year to a guy who hasn’t played football in two years, an XFLer and a guy who lost his job to that XFLer last year. That list can be shortened to the Texans, Rams and possibly the Colts.

  12. You’re really talking about the Lions ruining the chemistry they’re building by putting in a claim for Mayfield? Yeah thats not gonna happen

  13. The Patriots make the most sense. Mayfield is better than any Quarterback they have on the roster.

  14. I love these takes that “so and so was really interested in Mayfield in the 2018 draft”

    AND???? That was four years ago. Look at him now. I’m sure there are people who really liked Jamarcus Russell in the draft. Doesn’t mean they’re looking to bring him on to a squad.

  15. Maybe a list of teams that might not make a claim for him would have been easier for everybody here.

  16. Rams and 49’ers are the only logical choices.

    But I bet Mayfield would look good in a Seattle Sea Dragons uniform

  17. Texans to me would be a wise investment so whoever they draft isn’t rushed to play right away…

    Colts could take a chance BUT their past several attempts with veterns has blown up in their face…

    Saints could be a good idea…. Learn behind Dalton and waive Jameis… An instant upgrade!

    Best scenario (as I see it), the Seahawks.. They have won SOME games with such an average qb such as Geno.. They need to upgrade the qb position and that is the earliest opportunity..

    OR the Ravens so they can trade Jackson, have a talent at qb and still have the funds to build their team right!

  18. You’d think a team with a chance to make some noise in the playoffs this season might consider bringing Mayfield on as an experienced back up,… if they currently have an unproven back up. If your starting QB goes down late season,… you have to be prepared. Look what happened to the 49ers.
    Cincy ? Tenn ? SF ?

  19. “You’re really talking about the Lions ruining the chemistry they’re building by putting in a claim for Mayfield? Yeah thats not gonna happen.”
    I theorhetically agree, but the Fords and their GMs have a voluminous history of ruining things.

  20. Niners makes the most sense…..but not as a starter, but as a backup to Purdy. Which is why I expect Seattle to take him. They see a chance for the Niners to fall apart after losing Garoppolo and they would be happy to make things even worse.

  21. If Mayfield asked for his release, chances are that his reps have already had ‘discussions’ through third parties with some of the teams on that list. He likely is looking for a starting QB role, and not interested in a backup/ kick the tires role where he may never see the field to improve his rep. I don’t think the Colts would bench starting QB Ryan again, nor any team in the playoff race. So Rams make the most sense to me, and they get a bonus 3rd if Mayfield leaves.

  22. Patriots: They had interest in Mayfield before the 2018 draft, sneaking in a late workout. From the perspective of paying $1.3 million and potentially getting extra compensatory draft-pick consideration if he leaves in free agency, it could be worth adding him to the roster for the rest of the season.
    So Mayfield to a team with no offensive line and a botched implementation of an offensive system with coaches that are in over their heads. Yeah that will work out well.

  23. With Zack Wilson being a complete bust and Mike White’s future unknown, maybe the Jets bring him in. Why not? Nothing else they have tried in the last 20 years has worked. And the 20 before that.

  24. Baker Mayfield was the worse QB to take a snap this season. He is terrible. Both the Browns (good roster) and Panthers (adequate) had more talent around him than most busts have around them and he still failed. He can’t read defenses so he is always late with his reads, unathletic so he can’t escape the pocket, and short so his late passes constantly get batted down. He is terrible. He is accurate but it doesn’t matter if you don’t know where to throw the ball and can’t get passes off.

  25. Baker has been held back by lousy coaching. It will be interesting to see who makes a play for him, but my money is on the Commanders or Patriots, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he landed in New England

  26. Browns should claim him since they’re paying him anyway and just not dress him the rest of the year. That would be the ultimate karma. Demanded a trade because he thought he was too good to be a backup and come back not good enough to even dress on game day because he’s not better than Jacoby Brissett with the same roster.

  27. bozobiden says:
    December 6, 2022 at 12:26 pm
    Baker has been held back by lousy coaching. It will be interesting to see who makes a play for him, but my money is on the Commanders or Patriots, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he landed in New England


    He played for 5 different coaches lol. At some point maybe just maybe the problem is Mayfield. Bakers coaches need to file a class action lawsuit against him. He is the ultimate coach killer. If I’m an NFL headcoach I’d tell my GM to keep this guy as far away from me as possible.He is slow Johnny Manziel.

  28. The only teams I see wanting Mayfield are the 49ers who need a backup for their 3rd string QB… and teams who want to keep him from the 49ers.

  29. Tampa Bay looks great Brady is older then dirt and just got lucky last night. 49ers makes tooooo much sense as does the Colts and the Rams.

  30. I don’t think anyone should claim him (some reflection time might help his maturity issues), but it’s interesting how many of the comments would have been applicable to Geno Smith a few years ago.

  31. I really think he’s done at this point. He’s short doesn’t have a good arm and he’s kind of a brat attitude so what team really wants that??

  32. Bring him into NE, show the marshmellow they have in there now what real grit looks like. Mac looks like he should have the varsity sweater on as the president of the fraternity. Baker has been on that wall, and has shouldered a team. NE Fans would love a guy like that who has bawls.

  33. i doubt Baker would want to sit on the bench in KC, but Andy Reid did make the world believe in Kevin Kolb once enough to get like a 2nd round pick. If Baker can bring himself to carry the clipboard and learn, it’s his best bet but not the fastest road.

  34. If Walmart cares about putting a more respectable product on the field, they should claim him and bench Mr. Unlimited.

  35. I’ll let Baker join Broncos to see if he can be better than Russell Wilson. Why not?

  36. Has anyone considered how much of a factor coaching & team is to the success of a QB?

    I wouldn’t be giving up on Mayfield yet. When he was healthy and almost beat KC in the playoffs, he was a very good starter. It wouldn’t shock me at all if a change of scenery brought out a better version of him.

    If I was a Niners fan, I’d want them to at least take a serious look at bringing him on.

  37. The guy absolutely destroyed the Steelers in the playoffs, and almost took KC down at Arrowhead. With a solid roster around him, Mayfield might still be worth a go.

  38. Would any team pick up Russell Wilsons contract, if he were cut.
    (all players cut after the trade deadline are subject to waivers)

  39. Niners fans don’t think they need him; they think Brock Purdy is the second coming of Joe Montana 😂

  40. Everybody’s trying find a landing spot for Baker. Why, I don’t know. He’s not good enough to spend time on. He’s had multiple chances and they didn’t workout. His play is mediocre at best, yet he carries way too much baggage. With his attitude and lack of ability he may be done.

  41. just how long is Mike Vrabel going to sacrifice his career at the altar of Ryan “Telegraph” Tannehill? The Titans should have brought Mayfield in

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