Are there any takers for Baker Mayfield?
The search for a trade partner continues for the Cleveland Browns.
The list of teams wanting a quarterback is dwindling.
On Monday, another potential suitor may have come off the table.
Per Carolina Panthers beat reporter Sheena Quick, the Panthers are “unlikely” to make a deal happen for Mayfield.
#Panthers interest in Baker Mayfield is due diligence. It is highly unlikely that a deal – if there is to be one – will be made before the #NFLDraft
— Sheena Quick (@Sheena_Marie3) April 18, 2022
Time is running out on Cleveland if they hope to trade Mayfield before the NFL Draft.
They could still move him afterwards, however, that list of potential partners could shrink even more.
“Most Likely Spot”
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport described Carolina as “the most likely spot” for Mayfield to go if Cleveland commits to a pre-draft trade.
From NFL Now: A look at how #Browns QB Baker Mayfield fits into the #Panthers plans. pic.twitter.com/sofFH8wfbH
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 18, 2022
This contradicts Mayfield’s comments on his episode of the YNK Podcast in which he claims Seattle is a likely destination for him.
Rapoport goes on to say that Carolina is a good fit simply because a deal would answer their biggest question this offseason: the quarterback position.
Quick’s report about a deal being unlikely to happen gives us an indication that the Panthers prefer other options they’ve been evaluating.
Whether that’s a remaining free agent name or someone in the upcoming draft is anyone’s guess.
One thing seems clear, however, and that’s Mayfield not going to Carolina.
Hurting His Own Cause
Time for some pure speculation. Mayfield has not done himself any favors this offseason.
His appearance on the YNK Podcast came across as him portraying himself as a victim.
He rants about the organization lying to him about their intentions.
The odd comment about booing people at their cubicles at work got some laughs on social media well into the summer as well.
None of his actions have been derogatory or vile.
However, as the saying goes, the little things add up.
NFL front offices see all the comments and interviews.
It goes into their evaluation process, as Scott Pioli of NFL Network notes here.
.@scottpioli51 is not a fan of the new Baker Mayfield interview 😳 pic.twitter.com/CnZSIbdEsk
— NFL Total Access (@NFLTotalAccess) April 13, 2022
I don’t agree with all of Pioli’s criticisms, particularly his comments on Baker talking about teammates.
However, he’s right about NFL front offices taking note of the poor leadership qualities.
An Awkward Summer
The end of Rapoport’s analysis is intriguing. He mentions that it could be a long wait for Mayfield to find a new home if a deal isn’t done before the draft.
That means the start of training camp could arrive with Mayfield still on the Browns roster.
With voluntary workouts starting for the Browns on Tuesday, don’t expect Mayfield to be there.
However, if Mayfield wanted to spice up the awkwardness, he could show up to workouts and, eventually, training camp.
#Browns players report for voluntary workouts on Tuesday and what Baker Mayfield does will be interesting.
He could just not show up.
Or … he could show up, make things awkward, and force the Browns to get something done already.
Hope has been for a trade before the draft.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) April 18, 2022
It is a humorous situation to think about though, as Mayfield is well within his rights to show up.
Ultimately the Browns will continue to hunt for a trade partner for Mayfield.
The metaphorical bridge between the two sides is beyond burnt.
Getting him off the roster and onto a new team is mutually beneficial here.
Having that happen before the draft would be a win.
It takes two to tango, and unfortunately, the Carolina Panthers don’t look like they want to dance.
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