Baker Mayfield is out of his Berea home waiting for his divorce from the Cleveland Browns to be final.
But the paperwork might not be coming fast enough for either party.
With his trade value bottoming out in a dried-up quarterback market, Mayfield is stuck biding his time.
And that time is precious if he wants a legitimate chance to compete for a starting role elsewhere.
Andrew Berry is open to any offers but is content to wait if there is any hope of a better deal down the road.
Late April’s NFL Draft is kicked around as the next most-likely target date for a Mayfield deal.
Teams might not get the quarterback of their choice or would possibly consider Mayfield as part of another swap.
I do believe Andrew Berry has some sort of plan, and I do believe he planned for Baker Mayfield to be this upset that he's not a part of that plan.
— Ken Carman (@KenCarman) March 17, 2022
For the moment, Mayfield seems content to be in Texas working with a quarterbacks coach and free-agent receivers.
But if he wants to speed up the trade process, he might want to swing by his old homestead soon.
That is the strategy one NFL insider thinks might force Berry’s hand at finalizing a deal.
Albert Breer recently appeared on the Rich Eisen show and said one way Mayfield can force a trade is to simply show up to the offseason program.
Being There is Everything
As long as he remains on the Browns roster, Mayfield has every right to show up at the Browns’ facilities.
And those facilities are open for players to work on strength and conditioning and for rehab starting on April 19.
Of course, all parties agree Mayfield’s presence would be a bit awkward.
Especially since Deshaun Watson plans to show up as early as possible, too.
Cleveland expects Deshaun Watson to attend its formal offseason workout program in April.
What happens with Baker Mayfield?
"The Browns have to be prepared to play the long game." – @AkronJackson https://t.co/OlS77tpL4l
— The Athletic NFL (@TheAthleticNFL) March 28, 2022
Andrew Berry says he has no hard deadline for a Mayfield trade.
But such a deadline could be minutes after Mayfield’s arrival in Ohio.
And it could even force Berry to release his disgruntled quarterback before a deal can be made.
Latest On The Trade Front
Berry doesn’t seem to have many options to take Mayfield off his hands.
Negotiations have to start with how much of Mayfield’s salary the Browns are willing to eat.
And the Browns are not the most popular team to deal with, much less help, since the Watson trade.
JC Tretter’s push to make guaranteed contracts like Watson’s the NFL norm won’t help that situation.
#Browns GM Andrew Berry on a timetable for a Baker Mayfield trade: “Baker is a professional, he’s under contract, and we have the flexibility whether he’s on the roster or not. So we don’t really feel pressed to rush into anything that’s suboptimal.”
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) March 29, 2022
Looming large in the list of possibilities is an AFC North team scooping up Mayfield as a free agent.
That’s why releasing Mayfield is the last resort, since Berry doesn’t want to pay him to play for a rival.
But he can’t pay him to stay home, either, lest the players’ union call it a lockout.
And Seattle remains the only sensible trade partner, with Atlanta, Detroit, and Carolina outside possibilities.
Mark Brown says
Baker is worth a third round Comp Pick after he leaves as a free agent, after the season.
ANY team that wants the Browns to pay him off before leaving had better be waving a third round pick at the Browns to match that Comp Pick.