And it wasn’t good.
“Mutual disinterest” was the phrase used when discussing the possible trade of Mayfield to the Panthers.
And when such talk resurfaced last week, Carolina wide receiver Robbie Anderson cried “Nooooo!” on social media.
“The move the Carolina Panthers need to make if they are going to save their jobs,” says Miller, “is to trade for Baker Mayfield who is going to have a chip on his shoulder the size of Norman, Oklahoma.”
.@nfldraftscout believes Baker Mayfield is the answer for the Panthers ????
“Should they draft a quarterback? Absolutely not. … The move the Carolina Panthers need to make if they want to save their jobs? Trade for Baker Mayfield.” pic.twitter.com/p8mea8Udyd
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) April 15, 2022
Miller believes the Panthers could get a season like Mayfield’s final year with the Sooners.
Back then, the disgruntled passer was mad he wasn’t given a starting job at Texas Tech.
And a similar reaction to Cleveland’s perceived rejection could spark another big season for Baker’s next team.
Miller’s Other Reasons Make Sense, Too
This is a make-or-break season for the Panthers’ third-year head coach, Matt Rhule.
Rhule and his new offensive coordinator, Ben McAdoo, need someone ready to step in and take over.
There are no quarterbacks graded higher than late-first-rounders in this year’s NFL Draft.
Malik Willis was recruited by Rhule for Temple some years back and Kenny Pickett is a really nice kid.
— NFL Rumors (@nflrums) April 17, 2022
But as Miller points out, that is not enough to make them worthy of Carolina’s #6 overall selection.
Better to land an experienced starting NFL quarterback you know more about.
Like Indianapolis, Carolina miscalculated on a quarterback trade in 2021.
And like the Colts, the Panthers need to move past that mistake and grab a viable upgrade.
Why Mayfield Makes Sense
Jimmy Garoppolo is the only other viable starter available on the trade market or free agency.
But the Panthers don’t have a second- or third-round pick and don’t really want to meet the 49ers’ price anyway.
McAdoo’s offense is a quick-hitting, up-tempo design run almost exclusively from the shotgun.
That minimizes Mayfield’s footwork problems and- assuming he pulls the trigger- quick hits help his game, too.
— BrownsNation.com (@BrownsNationcom) April 17, 2022
When Kevin Stefanski had Mayfield rolling out in 2020, quick and simple decisions were key to Mayfield’s success.
In an article for the Charlotte Observer, reporter Ellis L Williams compared McAdoo’s scheme to Freddie Kitchens’.
But he meant the 2018 Kitchens’ play calling that almost won Mayfield Rookie of the Year honors.
Another consideration is Mayfield’s contract position, which allows for a rebuild in 2023 for the Panthers.
Why It Might Not Work Out
There are significant risks for whatever team takes Baker Mayfield.
As much success as a challenged, slighted, or angry Mayfield has had, it doesn’t change his underlying faults.
Popularity in the locker room could be a problem if Robbie Anderson’s message is an indicator.
And Mayfield is not the only one trying to remake his reputation in Carolina.
— NFL Rumors (@nflrums) April 16, 2022
Besides Rhule’s shaky status, McAdoo is still recovering from an ugly situation with the New York Giants.
But he was railroaded out of town with labels that kept him from finding a coordinator job until now.
With Rhule, McAdoo, and Mayfield all trying to right their career ships, things could get ugly if anything goes awry.
What Might It Take?
Carolina is taking a risk for the straight second season and bringing on a quarterback they are not completely sold on.
But they are getting their 2022 starting quarterback in this deal and will need to compensate appropriately.
Negotiations could be wild with Andrew Berry expecting more, but anxious to dump Mayfield’s salary.
If the Browns have to pay any part of that 5th-year option, Berry will press for more than a single draft pick.
— NFL RUMORS (@NFL_JUST_IN) April 17, 2022
Carolina has 3 picks between the 4th and 5th rounds with no picks in the second or third.
Berry might want 2 of those 3 picks, possibly in return for Mayfield and a Browns 6th or 7th.
Or the GMs could make it a straight-up player deal, maybe the unhappy Anderson for Mayfield.
Adding the speedy receiver would let Berry narrow his draft-day plans.