The Cleveland Browns have a promising roster in place for this coming NFL season, but they have some real issues to iron out.
One of them is what to do with quarterback Baker Mayfield.
After it was reported that someone in the organization said that an “adult” under center was preferred, Mayfield asked to be traded, and the team quickly moved to acquire Deshaun Watson despite the many lawsuits against him for alleged misconduct.
Mayfield certainly has talent, and there are certainly many NFL QBs that he is better than, but his perceived attitude, flaws and the nearly $19 million he will be owed this season have reportedly made other teams reluctant to acquire him.
Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reported just prior to the NFL draft that there were a “handful of teams” that are interested in him and that a trade could go down in “the next few days.”
But of course, nothing happened.
This week, the Browns excused Mayfield from their mandatory minicamp, which will start next week.
With training camp creeping closer, the team is hoping that some team will pull the trigger and take Mayfield off its hands.
Which teams may be most likely to do so?
New York Giants
Right now, this seems very unlikely, especially since Giants QB Daniel Jones is recovering from a neck injury that had kept him out of the last six games of the 2021 season.
But Jones is not exactly a QB who has a very high ceiling, and fans in the New York City area are impatiently expecting some noticeable improvement from the team.
Giants training their receivers with an advanced jugs machine that throws just like Daniel Jones.
Technology is awesome. pic.twitter.com/qGEEIk75qT
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) June 8, 2022
In 11 contests last season, Jones threw for 2,428 yards and 10 touchdowns while posting a passer rating of 84.8.
The Giants won just four contests, and although they play in a relatively weak division, they don’t seem that close to returning to the playoffs for the first time since the 2016 season.
Generally, not a lot can be gleaned from this point of the offseason when teams are holding OTAs and minicamps, but perhaps a little later on when more things become clear, other teams may be more inclined to roll the dice on Mayfield.
After trading away Russell Wilson, the Seahawks have insisted that they are not rebuilding, but at the same time, they also insist that they are happy with Drew Lock under center.
Lock is a signal-caller who has been prone to throwing interceptions and hasn’t posted a passer rating of at least 90 in his three seasons in the NFL.
But the Seahawks still have standout wide receiver Tyler Lockett, and they are reportedly working on giving star wideout DK Metcalf a new deal to keep him in Washington state.
With head coach Pete Carroll wanting to lean more on the running game, perhaps Mayfield could find some success in the Puget Sound region.
The Panthers are the team Mayfield has been linked to the most in recent weeks.
Reportedly, incumbent QB Sam Darnold has been looking good in workouts, at least according to the Panthers, but it’s hard to imagine him suddenly blossoming into a Pro Bowl-caliber player.
Remember folks, Sam Darnold was hitting guys in stride last off-season. He needs to be able to put it together on game day with pressure in his face.
— Panthers On Tap (@PanthersOnTap) June 8, 2022
It’s easy to forget that in 2018, Mayfield set an NFL record for most touchdown passes by a rookie, and that in 2020 he had a solid season while leading the Browns to their first playoff win since the mid-1990s.
He’s still just 27 years of age, which means that if he experiences a change of scenery, he still has time to turn things around.