Seahawks Emerge as Favorite in Trade for Browns QB Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield

Getty Images Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.

The Cleveland Browns have yet to find a trade for disgruntled quarterback Baker Mayfield, although the Seattle Seahawks appear to be warming up to the idea of making the former top pick their starting quarterback.

The Carolina Panthers have been seen as the favorite to land Mayfield for most of the offseason, but that mantle now belongs to the Seahawks, per Aaron Wilson of the Pro Football Network.

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“There hasn’t been any recent significant movement toward the Browns being able to execute a trade for Mayfield and no trade is imminent, according to league sources not authorized to speak publicly,” Wilson reported on Thursday, June 23. “The Carolina Panthers, after holding trade discussions during the draft regarding Mayfield that didn’t come close to a deal, are not regarded as likely of a destination as another potential trading partner: the Seattle Seahawks.”

The Seahawks are currently weighing their QB options, with Geno Smith and Drew Lock competing for the starting role. Whether he believes it or not, Seahawks skipper Pete Carroll has been very complimentary of his passers.

“They’ve been really impressive,” Carroll told ESPN on June 18. “And it’s not been any one sequence here or one day here. They have just been solid throughout. We’ve shared a ton of reps. Geno has gone with the first group throughout, but they’ve had very close to equal reps in situational opportunities throughout. … They’ve done a terrific job so far. They look in control.”

Seattle’s interest in Mayfield has been disputed from the start, but it does appear to be a situation where Mayfield could slide in and make a difference. Mayfield completed 60.5% of his passes last season for 3,010 yards, 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He had surgery on a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder this offseason but is ready to roll for training camp.

Seahawks Willing to Extend Mayfield After Trade: Report

The Panthers and Browns have been unable to agree on how much of Mayfield’s near $19 million salary each side will take on. Meanwhile, the Seahawks appear to be getting creative in an effort to land Mayfield, per Josina Anderson of CBS Sports.

“I’m told the Seahawks still have a high-level of interest in acquiring QB Baker Mayfield and behind-the-scenes are open to contractually extending him,” she tweeted on June 22. “I also know that the process of collecting information and insights into Mayfield is still ongoing.”

The Seahawks have just $16.3 million in salary cap space available, so they’ll either need some help from the Browns or an extension that would spread out the money Mayfield is owed.

Blitz of Seahawks Info Could be Browns Strategy

While the Seahawks do appear to be a logical destination, the recent blitz of news linking Seattle and Mayfield could be part of a strategy by the Browns to get a deal done with the Panthers. Former Browns general manager Mike Lombardi said he believes that’s the case.

“To me, what I think is happening is I think this is an opportunity where the Browns are wanting to finalize this deal with Carolina and there’s kind of a gridlock,” Lombardi said June 23 on his “GM Shuffle” podcast. “I think the Browns and Carolina have reached some conclusion on where it’s going. Again, this is about money.”

Noted Browns insider Mary Kay Cabot of reported that the Seahawks are not a threat to land Mayfield via trade and would be interested only if he was cut.

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