Videos by OutKick
Finally, the Cleveland Browns may have a taker for quarterback Baker Mayfield, who they are dying to trade after landing Deshaun Watson. That would be none other than the QB-starved Carolina Panthers.
But Mayfield may not be the only one in the Panthers’ sites.
According to Joseph Person of The Athletic, the Panthers are actually exploring multiple options. No other options are mentioned, but you can’t help but think of names such as Jimmy Garoppolo (San Francisco 49ers), Ryan Fitzpatrick (free agent), or hey, maybe even Jared Goff (Detroit Lions).
Mayfield may be the best option of any of those, until you consider his $18.8 million salary. That’s how much Sam Darnold is also owed, and he is still on the roster. And think about that — Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick in 2018, and Darnold, the No. 3 overall pick that year, on the same team, playing the same position.
What a world the NFL has become.
Anyway., as for Mayfield, most teams clearly think he is somewhere between decent starter and fantastic backup. He has had one good year, followed by a bad year, followed by an excellent year, followed by whatever last year was.
But perhaps all Mayfield needs is a fresh start and some coaches and teammates around him who believe in him. A slight attitude adjustment probably wouldn’t hurt, either. He has a reputation for being difficult to work with, and supposedly didn’t care for Browns coach Kevin Stefanski.
That’s not to take Stefanski’s side, if true. He still has plenty to prove after a season of perplexing play-calling. But let’s just say Mayfield didn’t exactly make that situation better.
As for the Panthers, right now, their quarterbacks are Darnold and backup P.J. Walker. It’s hard to envision them going after Mayfield with Darnold still on the roster. Or maybe they could keep them both and let them fight over which one has been the bigger disappointment. But that’s a big check to cut for two guys who may not be the answer.
In that sense, it’s completely understandable why the Panthers may be exploring the entire QB market. That’s a good idea for Carolina, but not so great for Cleveland.