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It seems highly likely that the Cleveland Browns will move on from QB Baker Mayfield this offseason but nothing is certain. Before the Browns traded for Deshaun Watson, Mayfield requested a trade. The team quickly denied that request.
At that point, the assumption was that Watson was going to decide between New Orleans and Atlanta as his next stop. When the former Houston Texans star instead decided on Cleveland, Mayfield’s future was once again up in the air.
The NFL’s offseason of quarterback musical chairs has spun quite quickly but seemingly doesn’t have many spots left for Mayfield. Jimmy Garoppolo joins Mayfield as the two starting level signal-callers left to be moved this year. Both quarterbacks have had offseason shoulder surgery. Mayfield had his earlier and on his non-throwing shoulder while Garoppolo’s was almost two months later and is on his throwing shoulder.
There have been rumblings of the Browns asking for certain picks in return and different teams being in and out on the quarterback. According to Ian Rapoport, the Carolina Panthers “seem more likely” if the Browns pay some of Mayfield’s contract:
As Rich Eisen notes at the end, the first and third overall picks would be competing for the starting job with the Panthers.
In the end, Cleveland will likely have to pay some of Mayfield’s contract to get some kind of draft asset in return. The team could wait until an injury creates more of a market but, right now, Carolina and Seattle still seem like the best options.
If the Panthers trade for Mayfield, it would be interesting if Garoppolo returns to San Fransisco the team may not have an interest in dealing him in the division to Seattle.