Andrew Berry is in no rush to accept a deal for his former starting quarterback, Baker Mayfield.
And that strategy might start to pay dividends for the Cleveland Browns.
Word out of Carolina is the Panthers are showing increased urgency to replace Sam Darnold.
They’ll have to spice up their offer if they want Mayfield to attend part of their minicamp this month.
Lot of smoke around Baker Mayfield and the Panthers. https://t.co/YEwk8AyNpj
— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) June 14, 2022
Meanwhile, Pete Carroll’s enthusiasm over Drew Lock appears to be waning.
Seahawk insiders report that journeyman Geno Smith is beating out Lock for the team’s starting role.
Carolina and Seattle have been the leading candidates for Mayfield’s services for weeks.
But playing the waiting game could create scenarios for other teams to enter the conversation.
1. Miami Dolphins
Bringing teams together for offseason workouts lets reporters grab new sound bites from the players.
And Miami’s newest wide receiver, Tyreek Hill provided plenty of content with comments about Tua Tagovailoa.
Specifically, he called his new quarterback a more accurate passer than Patrick Mahomes.
But it was the follow-up about Tagovailoa’s arm strength that caught the attention of some Dolphins observers.
Hot take: Baker Mayfield would be a better QB for the Miami Dolphins than Tua Tagovailoa is. pic.twitter.com/ZiJfbsbHlG
— Nick Karns (@karnsies817) March 23, 2022
Miami invested heavily in Hill and paired him up with the equally-speedy Jaylen Waddle.
Will Tagovailoa come up short or pass up on open deep receivers and force Miami to make a move?
Tagovailoa’s future is a daily topic in Florida, so why not add the big-armed Mayfield to that conversation?
Because right now it seems their touch quarterback might not be a match for their deep-threat offense.
2. San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco has a more difficult scenario than the Browns in trying to trade Jimmy Garoppolo.
Garoppolo not only carries a huge 2022 salary hit, but he is also recovering from surgery on his throwing shoulder.
And in the absence of other buyers and with a good prognosis on his health, Cleveland could propose a deal.
Berry’s wait-and-see attitude comes into play as this only happens if Deshaun Watson misses all or most of 2022.
#NFL Execs Feel #49ers Jimmy Garoppolo, #Browns Baker Mayfield Will Likely Be Released. pic.twitter.com/NNETgBpiCk
— NFL Rumors (@nflrums) June 10, 2022
Cleveland needs a better backup and/or competition for Jacoby Brissett in that scenario.
And San Francisco saves $7 million on their salary cap while hedging their bet on the young Trey Lance.
Berry can take on that additional salary in return for draft picks in a Brock Osweiler-lite situation.
The Niners lack a first-rounder, but with 4 compensatory picks expected in 2023, they can still offer a package.
Browns Have More Options
Another team having second thoughts about their starting quarterback is the New York Giants.
Tyrod Taylor is reportedly making many of the plays Daniel Jones is missing in their offseason workouts.
Unfortunately, the Giants’ salary cap and contract situation make a deal for Mayfield unlikely.
Seattle sounds like they should be ready to pull the trigger after watching Drew Lock’s OTA performance.
Update: Geno Smith has the "early edge" over Drew Lock to be the #Seahawks week 1 starter
— JPA 🏈 (@JordanFootbalI) May 19, 2022
But Pete Carroll continues to play his cards close to the vest, even as the team works to open cap space.
That leaves several teams with shaky backup quarterbacks to consider Mayfield.
And Cleveland probably eats more of his salary than they would like for any of those teams.
That could prompt Berry to continue to wait for further developments before dealing Mayfield away.
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