With just a few weeks to go before the start of training camp, the dark cloud hanging over the Cleveland Browns regarding their quarterback situation is not even starting to burn off.
The NFL is still weighing its options as far as discipline for Deshaun Watson, while the team is still hoping to find a taker for Baker Mayfield.
There have been rumors that the Carolina Panthers, who have the massively disappointing Sam Darnold under center, may be interested in Mayfield, and the Seattle Seahawks have also reportedly shown some interest in him.
But according to NFL reporter Ian Rapoport, the Seahawks’ supposed interest in Mayfield has been nothing more than speculation, even saying that Seattle has “never really been that interested in” the former No. 1 overall draft pick and that he has “heard nothing to corroborate Baker to the Seahawks at all.”
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) July 5, 2022
Mayfield Has Almost Created This Situation Out of Thin Air
Mayfield has been inconsistent through his four NFL seasons, and he has been mercurial, but he clearly has talent, and he has had his moments.
He set an NFL record for most touchdown passes by a rookie in 2018, and he led the Browns to their first playoff win in over two decades.
Early this offseason, a member of the Browns’ front office reportedly said the teams wanted an “adult in the room” at the quarterback situation, and it apparently set Mayfield off, as he quickly requested a trade.
Soon after, Cleveland swung a trade for Watson, which caused many around the league to mock the team for acquiring a man who has been accused of dozens of acts of sexual misconduct.
Just about everybody expects Watson to get suspended as a result, perhaps for the entire 2022 campaign, which would leave the Browns without a reliable QB.
It would be a big shame, as the team finally looks like it has a roster that can compete in the NFC North and possibly even earn a playoff spot if whole.
If Mayfield had kept his emotions in check better over the last couple of years, is it possible the Browns would’ve never felt compelled to give up significant capital for a man who may not suit up for a while?
The Panthers Appear To be The Browns’ Only Hope For A Trade
During his appearance on the “Pat McAfee Show,” Rapoport said that if a Mayfield trade happens, it would likely happen before the start of training camp, which will take place the third full week of this month.
It makes sense, as a trade afterward would throw things into chaos just when players are starting to build chemistry and get used to whatever their coaching staff believes will give them their best chance at success.
Baker Mayfield is not elite.
He may not save the Panthers in one year.
I don’t know if he’s a good person or not.
He may not be a great locker room guy – although I believe that’s exaggerated.
I’d choose him over Sam Darnold 10 times out of 10.
Panthers should trade for him
— 🅿️anthers Culture🥷🏽 (@PanthersCulture) July 5, 2022
In a perfect world, Mayfield would realize he has an opportunity to rehab his image and build his value on the open market by filling in for Watson this year during his seemingly inevitable suspension.
Mayfield has one year left on his contract, and if he were to do so, perhaps another team would give him a nice contract and perhaps even a starting job next year.