Fans hoping that quarterback Baker Mayfield will take any kind of discount on his new contract may be disappointed.
The two sides are open to extension talks surrounding his contract, but there doesn’t appear to be any big hurry to get something done.
When a new deal is finally agreed on, it seems like it will be on the more expensive side of things.
No Cheapies in Cleveland
On Thursday, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN went on Get Up and reported that Mayfield does not intend to take any huge team-friendly deal.
With Mayfield, it can make the financial situation complicated.
“And then Mayfield’s money might be a little more manageable as a result, if the Browns can get to the finish line. But Mayfield is hardly going to take a discount here. I know the Browns are going to look very hard at this”, said Fowler. “And Mayfield’s situation is one where the Browns value him and believe he has a higher ceiling than he’s hit… They believe he’s got another gear he can reach”.
Give Mayfield credit for navigating his first three professional seasons as well as he did.
Having to deal with multiple head coaches and offensive systems is tough.
Despite that, he managed to set a rookie passing touchdown record and bounced back tremendously in 2020 after some struggles in 2019.
STOP DISRESPECTING BAKER MAYFIELD pic.twitter.com/KjYYCVBIfh
— Cleveland Sports Fans (@CLE_SPORTS_FANS) June 30, 2021
Because of that, it’s not unreasonable to think he can be better.
That’s not a knock on what he’s done, rather, optimism over what he can still be.
Baker and the Browns
Our own Pat Opperman recently wrote about how the Browns should approach Baker’s contract talks, and I tend to agree.
Getting this worked out sooner rather than later would benefit both sides.
It prevents those infamous “distraction” talks from popping up during the season.
Mayfield’s agent Jack Mills already told Tony Grossi of TheLandOnDemand.com that he did not want to “drag this out” and that he and Baker already had a pretty good idea of what the quarterback market is.
Even if Mills doesn’t want this prolonged, Cleveland might.
After picking up Mayfield’s fifth-year option, the team has control of him through the next two seasons.
Two years of using the franchise tag could equate to four years of control, all while avoiding an extension.
Again, Mills doesn’t intend to let the summer go by without a long-term deal being struck.
It takes two to tango as the saying goes though, so we’ll see what the Browns do with the ball in their court.
I’m in the boat that Baker Mayfield will get his new contract in July.
— Brandon Little (@BrandonLittleSI) June 23, 2021
The size of Mayfield’s potential new deal has caused quite the debate in northeast Ohio.
Some claim he deserves closer to the $33 million per year range.
Others have his annual value around $40 million.
If what Fowler says is true and Mayfield doesn’t plan on giving the Browns a discount, that $40 million number could become very real in a hurry.