With about two months to go before the start of National Football League training camps, the Cleveland Browns still haven’t found a solution to the Baker Mayfield saga.
The quarterback has wanted out, especially ever since the team went out and acquired Deshaun Watson, but interest in Mayfield has been tepid at best.
However, there could be one team that has some material interest in the former Oklahoma Sooners star.
The Carolina Panthers have been reportedly in the market for an upgrade under center, and they haven’t ruled out the possibility of going after Mayfield.
My understanding is the door isn't 100% shut on the #Panthers and talks regarding Baker Mayfield, but I certainly received the impression that Carolina isn't in any rush, nor are they pressed, per league source. They will roll as is, if need be, per league source. @BovadaOfficial
— IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) May 9, 2022
The Browns would certainly love it if some team took him off their hands, but as of now, nothing seems even close to being serious in terms of a trade.
The Panthers Should Roll The Dice On Mayfield
Carolina is coming off a 5-12 season in which it ranked 29th in points scored, 29th in passing yards and 30th in total yards gained.
This is a franchise that reached the Super Bowl just six years ago back when Cam Newton was still considered a high-level QB, but it hasn’t made the playoffs since the 2017 campaign.
In Sam Darnold, the Panthers had to deal with having one of the league’s worst signal-callers.
He managed 2,527 yards and nine touchdowns against 13 interceptions in 12 games this past season, as a shoulder injury kept him out of five contests.
Newton returned to the team and started those five games, but he wasn’t any better, as he had four touchdowns, five interceptions and a 64.4 passer rating.
There were rumors earlier in the offseason that the Panthers may be interested in trading for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, but nothing has materialized.
Most would agree that Garoppolo would be a more reliable option in terms of his on-the-field performance and a better presence in the locker room, but he is injury prone, and some feel the 49ers may be asking for too much in return for him.
Do the Panthers really have much to lose by taking a chance on Mayfield?
Yes, he has a year left on his contract at nearly $19 million, but after that, his contract would come off the books, and if he doesn’t work out, Carolina would end up with more cap space.
It is a team that already has ample cap space, which, at least conceivably, makes taking a flyer on Mayfield more palatable.
Would Mayfield Do Better Away From Cleveland?
Sometimes, talented but troubled young QBs like Mayfield end up blossoming a bit by leaving their current team and taking advantage of a change in scenery.
Early in his career, long-suffering Browns fans had hope for him, especially when he led them to their first playoff win since the mid-1990s.
But they have largely turned against him, and his antics haven’t helped.
Reportedly, the holdup on the Browns’ side is their reluctance to pay for at least some of Mayfield’s contract in a potential trade.
In addition, some teams may be asking Cleveland to give up an additional asset along with him.
"The Browns had conversation with team about Baker [Mayfield] and the team asked for a pick from the Browns to take Mayfield’s contract." – @AdamSchefter
Added: "If anyone thinks they're going to get a high premium pick for Baker Mayfield they're mistaken." pic.twitter.com/0orQ4l3zvG
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) March 21, 2022
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