The Cleveland Browns are among the top contenders to land reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers this offseason, per newly released odds on the Green Bay quarterback’s next destination.
The Browns have the fifth-best odds to land Rodgers this offseason, coming in at +750, per BetOnline. Only the Broncos, Steelers, Dolphins and Eagles have better odds of landing Rodgers if he leaves Green Bay.
Rodgers and the Packers were unceremoniously bounced from the playoffs in the Divisional Round by the 49ers, 13-10. Rodgers already had a rough relationship with the team and he’s going to take some time this offseason to evaluate his future in Green Bay.
“I did not think we’d be talking about this after this game,” Rodgers said. “I’m gonna take some time and have conversations with the folks around here, and then take some time away and make a decision—obviously before free agency.”
An upgrade to Rodgers would make the Browns an immediate Super Bowl contender. He’s the frontrunner for a second consecutive MVP after passing for 4,115 yards and 37 touchdowns with just four interceptions. He led the league with a passer rating of 111.9.
The New York Post also recently listed the Browns as a player for Rodgers, although Mayfield’s salary for next season and slight trade value coming off an injury was cited as an issue for the team.
This is where it starts to get tricky with teams that would have to unload contracts with existing starting quarterbacks. The Browns picked up a fifth-year option for Baker Mayfield, which means he is due about $19 million, and there is not going to be a vibrant trade market for him.
Baker Mayfield Coming Off Surgery on Shoulder
Mayfield’s injury-riddeld season didn’t solve any questions for the Browns when it came to figuring out if he is the quarterback of the future. Mayfield tossed 17 touchdowns to 13 interceptions with a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder that he suffered in Week 2 against the Houston Texans.
Mayfield had surgery on January 19 to repair his shoulder and sent a message on his futue following the procedure.
“I checked that box off to get this fixed and now it’s on the way to the road to recovery,” Mayfield said in a video posted to social media. “This is one of those steps to get back to my true self. This past year hasn’t been very easy.
“This is not the end of my story. It’s just going to be one of those little things that I’ll look back and remember that’s one of those challenges and adversity that I’m going to try to take advantage of me, and it’ll make me a better person.”
Browns Have Backed Mayfield as Starter
While there has been much talk about Mayfield’s future, the Browns are saying publicly that they plan to bring him back as the starter next season.
“We fully expect Baker to be our starter and bounce back,” Browns general manager Andrew Berry told reporters. “Generally speaking, we are looking forward to Baker obviously getting healthy in the offseason and then putting good work into the spring and with his coaches for having the type of season we know he can have moving forward.”
That being said, there’s no doubt the Browns will explore the quarterback market to see what’s available. With a roster ready made to compete with a strong offensive line, run game and defense, the Browns time to compete for a title is now.