The Cleveland Browns apparently don’t want Baker Mayfield, and now Baker Mayfield wants the Indianapolis Colts. Or something like that.
This is just the NFL free agency craziness of 2022, particularly as it relates to quarterbacks such as Mayfield. OutKick’s Armando Salguero has been tracking this QB madness, writing that the Browns’ interest in Deshaun Watson signals to Mayfield “that they prefer someone else.”
Forever and ever amen, and for Mayfield and the Browns, somewhat stunningly, the relationship is over. There’s no coming back from this, not for the Browns and not for Mayfield, who still doesn’t even check all the boxes for the Browns. He’s had four years to try. And the fact he can be the occasional pain in the butt … well, the Browns appear ready to just start over at the position.
Mayfield, too, is ready to move on, it seems. So much so that Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network reported that if Mayfield is traded (spoiler alert: he will be), the Colts are his preferred destination.
Of course, Indianapolis wouldn’t be the only team with an interest in Mayfield. New Las Vegas Raiders coach Josh McDaniels is said to be a fan, and it’s hard to know what McDaniels thinks of current QB Derek Carr. Other teams chasing Watson that don’t actually land Watson could be in play for Mayfield as a consolation prize — teams such as the Atlanta Falcons or New Orleans Saints. The Detroit Lions would also make sense, but they still have to pay Jared Goff what seems to be about half the franchise’s value next season.
But of all these teams, Mayfield may prefer the Colts. And don’t think the Colts wouldn’t make a run at Mayfield. Remember, this is the same team that just gave Carson Wentz a second chance. (He is now getting a third chance in Washington.)
All we really know is Mayfield has been the face of the Browns for the past four years, and now he’s all but a goner. That is a strange feeling here in Cleveland, but it’s clearly time for everyone to move on. The Browns had just better hope that they get it right with whoever comes next.