Panthers reportedly have ‘inside track’ to Browns QB Baker Mayfield

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Carolina Panthers wide receiver Robby Anderson might have to make nice with Baker Mayfield pretty soon.

According to Mark Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, the Panthers currently have the “inside track” to a potential acquisition of the Cleveland Browns quarterback. Cabot, additionally, noted that some sort of deal could come within the next two weeks as we head towards the 2022 NFL draft.

“The Panthers — one of three teams who lost out in the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes, along with the Falcons and Saints — are one of several teams interested in Mayfield, and have the most cap space — $30.166 million according to overthecap.com,” she wrote on Saturday. “They also have an obvious opening at QB1. Darnold, the No. 3 pick in 2018, is under contract next season for the same fully-guaranteed fifth-year option amount as Mayfield’s $18.86 million, so the Panthers will probably want a little relief to get the deal done.”

Mayfield, of course, was the No. 1 overall pick in 2018. And that, awkwardly enough, also presents another type of reconciliation that may need to be made between the two sides.

Prior to that draft, Panthers offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo—who was fresh off his dismissal as head coach of the New York Giants—ranked that year’s quarterback class in an interview with the New York Post. Of the six prospects he listed, Mayfield was, uh . . . well . . . No. 6.

But if Carolina does indeed have interest in Baker, then perhaps the philosophy has changed. Either way, the Panthers’ options under center are dwindling and Mayfield is one of them.

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