Andrew Berry appears completely unbothered by the slow-playing market for Baker Mayfield.
He insists the Cleveland Browns are in no rush to unload his former starter or his $18 million salary.
It appears something unexpected will have to happen to create a market.
But there could be a secondary market for fans and pundits to think about.
Yahoo Sports’Charles Robinson says we need to look ahead to 2023 for a couple of darkhorse bidders.
Robinson told his “You Pod To Win The Game” podcast audience an unnamed NFL executive says:
“Open it! Go to the 2-year window. Who is going to need a quarterback in 2023? Look at some of these contracts and … what teams can exit (their quarterback commitments)?”
And he cited two specific teams as examples of what he is talking about- Tennessee and Tampa Bay.
"Getting the temperature on Baker Mayfield…and, man, I gotta tell ya, there's interest in that guy."@CharlesRobinson and @shalisemyoung talk about possible 2023 options for Baker on You Pod to Win the Game.
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) March 30, 2022
Tennessee Enters The Discussion
Ryan Tannehill has gone 30-13 as the Tennessee Titans starting quarterback.
But there is still an annual discussion as to whether the Titans can do better at the position.
Like the Browns, Tennessee relies on their running game for much of their offense.
And Robinson says there are no guarantees and Tannehill could have a bad year in 2022.
Thread on Ryan Tannehill:
I've seen a lot of people saying how Derrick Henry carried the Titans on their playoff run, but Tannehill deserves more credit. He gave the Titans' offense the necessary spark and was a legit top-10 QB last season. pic.twitter.com/GAbZbOw9z1
— Titans Tape (@TitansTape) March 23, 2020
He slipped a bit last year with 14 interceptions (with 21 touchdowns), twice as many as he had the previous year.
Robinson points out the Titans can unload Tannehill after this season as his contract turns team-friendly.
It wouldn’t take a disaster to make the Titans look at other options- like Baker Mayfield.
And having him on the roster already lets Tennessee franchise or extend him.
Not The First Analyst To Mention Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay insists they already drafted their post-Brady quarterback.
And they kept a good poker face waiting for their Super Bowl-winning passer to un-retire for 2022.
But Robinson says they got a taste of the panic of not having an heir apparent ready.
Apparently, the podcast host does not believe in Kyle Trask as strongly as the Bucs.
Kyle Trask’s first NFL touchdown pass. pic.twitter.com/UoWdwPTXU1
— Zach Goodall (@zach_goodall) August 29, 2021
Throwing Baker Mayfield on their roster provides a ready backup this year.
Tampa Bay provides the opportunity for Mayfield to watch and listen to Tom Brady for a year.
And GM Todd Licht is committed to maintaining a playoff tradition even without Arians and Brady.
Why It Might Not Work
Robinson doesn’t offer specifics about what to do with Mayfield for 2022.
Cleveland could carry him on the roster all year, but not playing (and probably not practicing) won’t add value.
No NFL team seems interested in paying the $18 million guaranteed 5th-year option.
To maintain control next year, Berry would probably need to franchise Mayfield to the tune of about $31 million.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) February 24, 2021
Besides the risk, Cleveland wants to avoid conflict by getting Mayfield off the roster before OTAs.
Dumping the contract into Tennessee or Tampa Bay puts any future risks on them.
Mayfield can kill any deal by refusing to play for the other team.
And either team might find Mayfield looking for guarantees they are not willing to make.