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The Baker Mayfield era in Carolina has come to an end.
The NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport tweeted that he has learned from sources that the Panthers were preparing to release Mayfield.
The expectation is for the former Heisman trophy winner to hit the waiver wire on Monday afternoon.
Mayfield’s impending departure is the latest chapter in his tumultuous NFL career. After being dealt to the Panthers to make room for Deshaun Watson in Cleveland, Mayfield won the starting job out of camp.
Since then Mayfield lost the starting job to P.J. Walker who went down a few weeks ago with an ankle injury. Mayfield replaced him in a 13-3 loss to the Ravens in Week 11, and the team opted to start Sam Darnold against Denver the following week.
Darnold helped the team to a 23-10 win over the struggling Broncos, and it looks like they plan to stick with Darnold and Walker moving forward.
What’s Next For Baker Mayfield?
Where he ends up is anyone’s guess. However, there does seem to be one team that makes a lot of sense at the moment.
No, not the Hamilton Tiger-Cats…
…it’s the San Francisco 49ers.
Over the weekend, Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a season-ending injury. That left the Niners with just one quarterback on their active roster, rookie Brock Purdy. The former Iowa State Cyclone who was the final pick in this year’s draft played well, throwing for 210 yards and two touchdowns against the Dolphins.
Given San Francisco’s track record with quarterbacks, they’ll be looking to add another name to the depth chart pronto. It works out nicely that Mayfield is potentially going to be available.
While, you’d have to assume that the team will stick with Purdy as long as they can, having Mayfield on the sideline would be a halfway decent safety net.
Or, at least, that would be the hope.
Updated: Also per Ian Rapoport, Mayfield himself asked for the release. The transaction means Cleveland will receive the Panthers’ 5th round pick this offseason, rather than a 4th rounder.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle