2018 first-overall draft pick Baker Mayfield lost his starting job when the Cleveland Browns traded with the Houston Texans to acquire star quarterback Deshaun Watson, and Mayfield then missed out on heading to the Indianapolis Colts, a reported desired destination for the 26-year-old, after they traded with the Atlanta Falcons for Matt Ryan. The Falcons wasted little time and signed Marcus Mariota to a two-year deal in a move that seemingly removes them from the list of potential landing spots for Mayfield.
It was reported earlier in the day that the Browns are in no hurry to jettison Mayfield, and The Athletic’s Jeff Howe has since added that the signal-caller’s camp “has had preliminary discussions” with the Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers. The Seahawks currently have 2019 second-round draft pick Drew Lock atop their depth chart, while the Panthers failed to woo Watson as an upgrade over Sam Darnold and could look to the upcoming draft for a new starter.
“Nothing appears imminent at this point, though,” Howe noted about the Browns eventually trading Mayfield. “It’s unclear if a deal could take place as early as this week or sometime later in the offseason, but a move is anticipated at some point.”
Mayfield spent the majority of this past season playing through a serious injury to his non-throwing shoulder that required him to go under the knife in January and is set to earn a fully guaranteed $18.858 million for the 2022 campaign via the fifth-year option attached to his rookie contract. Multiple individuals have suggested the Browns may have to eat money and/or offer assets to get a different team to take their former QB1 who has endured quite a fall since that memorable playoff victory at the Pittsburgh Steelers only 14 months ago: