Many expected a trade to happen at the NFL Draft at the end of April.
The draft came and went, and nothing happened.
There are still reports that the Panthers are interested in Mayfield.
What we are learning now is what the Panthers want as part of the Mayfield trade.
Spoiler alert, it has to do with money.
Report: Browns and Panthers still talking about Baker Mayfield, salary remains obstacle. https://t.co/HRVl7lzU9k
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) June 14, 2022
Panthers Want Money To Offset His Salary
The Browns’ original position was that they wanted to find a trade partner who would take Mayfield and the totality of his guaranteed salary of $18.8 million.
They also wanted at least one draft pick in exchange.
The sticking point for the Panthers is Mayfield’s salary.
They reportedly want the Browns to absorb “a sizeable percentage of his $18.8 million salary”.
The phrase sizeable percentage is relative so it is not clear exactly what that means.
Darnold is in the same draft class as Mayfield and is also being paid the fifth-year option amount of $18.8 million so it makes sense they do not want to tie up over $37 million in two quarterbacks.
The Panthers desire to make a trade sooner rather than later so that Mayfield could be at minicamp and begin the process of learning the offense.
Both the Browns and Panthers start their mandatory minicamps on Tuesday, June 14.
There's "urgency" from Panthers' side to trade for Baker Mayfield soon so he can play in minicamp, per @jjones9
Mayfield's salary and how much teams will pay remains an issue pic.twitter.com/ZuYK2TSQVU
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 14, 2022
It is worth noting that the Browns open up the 2022 season on the road against Carolina so if Mayfield is traded, that would be an interesting matchup.
The irony of Baker Mayfield vs. The Cleveland Browns to kick off week 1 is it's exactly what both sides would want. pic.twitter.com/RX2pABdhT8
— Nick Karns (@karnsies817) June 14, 2022
Browns Are Waiting It Out
The Browns appear content to play the waiting game with the quarterback roster.
They are waiting for the NFL to make a decision on Deshaun Watson‘s status for the season.
Also, they are waiting for teams to go to training camp, and upon further assessment, become interested in acquiring a quarterback of Mayfield’s caliber.
Will the waiting game work?
And just how long are the Browns willing to wait?
It is hard to envision Mayfield being on the 53-man roster in late August.
Would the Browns cut him if he is still on the team during roster cuts?
We will have to wait and see.