And if there is a pre-season target date for trading or releasing the quarterback, that could be it.
Cleveland wrote off most of Mayfield’s guaranteed $18.8 million the day they signed Deshaun Watson.
Browns mandatory minicamp set for June 14-16. Unofficial deadline for Baker Mayfield trade?
— Tony Grossi (@TonyGrossi) April 1, 2022
Money is not as big an issue as failing to get any kind of return for the former overall #1 draft pick.
Without Watson, Mayfield would have started and yielded a third-round compensatory pick as a 2023 free agent.
And that is assuming he did not bounce back the way the Browns still say they expect, to earn an extension.
With 2022 starting roles penciled in around the NFL, here’s where we predict Baker Mayfield will land in 2022.
Baker Mayfield: Starting Quarterback
Mayfield’s pride took a terrible hit when he felt the Browns considered him their “Plan B” for the upcoming season.
So much so that he immediately said goodbye and demanded a trade even before the Browns signed Watson.
Call it arrogance or self-confidence, but he undoubtedly thinks he can bump a few players out of starting roles.
Word from Carolina is that Sam Darnold improved some aspects of his game and looked great in their OTAs.
Baker Mayfield isn’t as bad as the market is treating him. There are a number of factors working against him at the same time. Horrible season, coming off of surgery, his contract etc all factor into why he’s not attractive for anyone right now. But he could still be a starter.
— Mekka Don (@MekkaDonMusic) March 22, 2022
Mayfield’s hopes for a starting role are dwindling, and his best bet might be to hang around Cleveland until summer.
Baker Mayfield: Season-Saving Backup
Nick Foles famously led the Philadelphia Eagles to a Super Bowl victory, inflating the value of a backup QB.
Cleveland’s $6 million backup, Case Keenum, wasn’t the only well-paid second-string option since then.
Could there be a team willing to pay a bigger chunk of Mayfield’s salary to land a quality disaster plan?
If Matthew Stafford gets hurt, the LA Rams will defend their championship with Sam Wolford or Bryce Perkins.
ESPN is currently arguing Jacoby Brissett being a better backup qb than Baker Mayfield this is not a serious company
— YSL 🅿️reston Williams Szn (@Boring99183) May 18, 2022
Tampa Bay continues to say nice things about Kyle Trask, but they re-signed Blaine Gabbert as a better option.
Teams desperate for a Super Bowl run could throw a better draft pick at Berry to lock up insurance at QB.
Dallas, Green Bay, and Buffalo would do better with Baker Mayfield covering a few games for an injured starter.
About the only drawback is whether Mayfield accepts such a role versus the risk of a moping locker room presence.
The Bold Prediction: Dallas
Carolina remains the betting favorite to cave and finally give Mayfield a starting gig for 2022.
But 2 key players and the Panthers’ offensive coordinator publically dismissed Mayfield, presenting a big red flag.
That’s why Seattle is more likely to put Mayfield behind center as a starter.
Pete Carroll’s rah-rah approach fits Mayfield’s personality better than any other coach.
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) April 18, 2021
Waiting for an injury or other disaster to shift the starters market is not a good strategy, and Berry knows it.
So Berry will push Mayfield to teams with playoff aspirations before the preseason if Seattle and Carolina decline.
And Jerry Jones will bite, bringing Mayfield to Dallas for a season- unless the Rams or Bucs outbid him.
Then it is up to Mayfield to rebuild his reputation and jump into the 2023 Free Agency market as a starting QB.