The Pittsburgh Steelers fan base has been waiting for the Cleveland Browns to make a move with Baker Mayfield since the 2021 regular season came to a close. There were a ton of rumors swirling during the 2022 NFL Draft, free agency and even leading up to minicamps.
Yet no move was made.
The reason no move was made wasn’t that no team felt Mayfield could play anymore, but the amount of money he was owed on his 5th year option was too steep for a team to want to take on that contract for just one season.
For a move to be made, the Browns were going to have to eat a large portion of Mayfield’s contract. After months of reports and deliberation, it is being reported the Carolina Panthers are that trade partner.
This per Ian Rapoport:
A new QB in Carolina: The #Panthers are acquiring former No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield from the #Browns for a 2024 conditional 5th-round draft pick, sources tell me and @TomPelissero. Deal is pending a physical. All parties split the financials to make it happen. pic.twitter.com/xuTLqosmZm— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 6, 2022
According to multiple reports, the Panthers are taking on just $5 million of Baker’s current contract, with the Browns picking up the rest of the deal for the 2022 season. Unless the Panthers are able to sign Mayfield to a long-term deal, he will be a free agent after this upcoming season.
What did the Browns get for trading the former first overall draft pick to Carolina? A conditional 2024 5th round pick.
There were rumors the Browns might try to make amends with Mayfield considering the off-field issues they are having with Deshaun Watson. With Watson likely facing a suspension, the duration is still unknown, this trade would mean the team would be looking at Jacoby Brissett and/or Joshua Dobbs to anchor the quarterback room until Watson is cleared to return.
To say this puts Cleveland in a bind is an understatement, but it also could mean the organization is confident they’ll have Watson available at some point in the 2022 regular season. A lot still to unpack to this trade, and the Browns’ quarterback situation, so stay tuned to BTSC for the latest on this story, and all things Pittsburgh Steelers as they prepare for training camp in a few weeks.