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Mitch Trubisky is the new starting quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but if Baker Mayfield becomes available, that could all change.
Mayfield, of course, is still a member of the Cleveland Browns. That isn’t supposed to be the case for much longer. Not after the Browns landed Deshaun Watson in a massive trade with the Houston Texans.
Problem is, the Browns can’t seem to find any takers for Mayfield. If their inability to trade him continues, they may have no choice but to release him outright. And if that happens, the Steelers would likely take a flyer, this despite Mayfield playing for their bitter rivals and knocking them out of the playoffs two years ago.
“The Steelers will pounce on Baker Mayfield if he becomes available,” veteran Browns reporter Mary Kay Cabot said on a Cleveland.com podcast. “Like if they cut him and he’s just out there as a street free agent, [the Steelers] would take him in a minute. And I’m sure a lot of people would. If you could get him for nothing, and the Browns have to eat that money, then certainly somebody would go grab him in that scenario.”
In Pittsburgh, replacing Ben Roethlisberger undoubtedly won’t be all rainbows and unicorns. Roethlisberger has been Steelers football for nearly 20 years. When you consider that Mayfield has been fairly inconsistent, not to mention a little immature, the Steelers might think twice about signing him, if the opportunity actually arises.
“The problem with Mayfield is that he’s in the middle of the pack as a quarterback.” wrote Larry Brown of Larry Brown Sports. “He could be good, he could be bad, but he’s not in that Patrick Mahomes/Josh Allen category among young quarterbacks. So teams might prefer to tank rather than get Mayfield only to be a mediocre team. The other issue is that the Browns would want some trade compensation for Mayfield, but teams are apparently reluctant to send any draft capital for the quarterback.”
Basically, despite landing Watson, the Browns still have a conundrum at QB. That would be that they can’t seem to move on from Mayfield. But they almost certainly don’t want him going to Pittsburgh.
At some point, Cleveland is likely to lower its asking price, and Mayfield indeed will be moved. If the Steelers want him, that’s likely all the incentive the Browns would need.