Former Browns QB Baker Mayfield Gets Clarity on Future After Release

Baker Mayfield

Getty Images New Rams quarterback Baker Mayfield.

It’s been a tough year for former Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield but he’ll get another shot to turn things around with the Los Angeles Rams.

The Rams claimed Mayfield off waivers on Tuesday ahead of the deadline, adding depth with starter Matthew Stafford on IR and likely out for the year. Mayfield joins John Wolford and Bryce Perkins on the QB depth chart for the defending Super Bowl champs and will likely be in the mix to draw some starts over the final few weeks of the season.

The Rams play on Thursday against the Raiders and ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that there’s a chance he could play in that game. Wolford and Perkins have split the starts in the last two games, with the Rams losing both, dropping to 3-9 this season.

Wolford was 14-of-26 passing last week for 178 yards in a loss to the Seahawks. He tossed a pair of interceptions. Perkins struggled against the Chiefs in a Week 12 loss, managing just 100 yards and also tossing a pair of interceptions.

“They believe in his talent. They need a QB with Matthew Stafford sidelined for the season and John Wolford dealing with a neck injury,” Schefter tweeted on Tuesday. “And if Mayfield signs elsewhere this off-season, the Rams could get back a compensatory draft pick.”

The Rams inherited the remaining $1.35 million on Mayfield’s contract.

Panthers Dubbed Release of Mayfield Mutual Decision

Mayfield was traded to the Panthers this offseason after the Browns landed Deshaun Watson. However, things did not go as planned, with the Panthers firing head coach Matt Rhule and Mayfield losing a grip on the starting job. The sides dubbed the release mutual, with Mayfield seeking an opportunity to get on the field. With Sam Darnold and PJ Walker ahead of him on the depth chart, there was a chance he would not have been active on game days.

“He felt and we felt we wanted to give him the opportunity to seek whatever him and his agent felt was best for him,” Panthers interim coach Steve Wilks said. “He has been nothing but a professional for us, so I wanted to extend that courtesy.”

The move left some in the Panthers locker room a little shocked, with Mayfield taking on a leadership role despite his struggles on the field.

“It’s shocking to us,” he said. “He’s the ultimate teammate. Everybody loved him. He loves everybody in here. It hurts. I just hope somebody claims him off waivers and he gets into another room.”

Mayfield finished his brief Panthers tenure with career-lows in completion percentage (57.8 percent) and yards per game (187.6). He tossed just six touchdowns with six interceptions and ranked dead last in QBR (18.2) among qualifying quarterbacks.

Mayfield Desperate for Turnaround Ahead of Free Agency

Mayfield is in a tough spot when it comes to his future in the NFL. He’s a dynamic and sometimes brash personality, struggling to churn out consistent play the last two seasons.

He appeared poised to be the long-term option in Cleveland after a playoff run during the 2020-21 season, helping the Browns to their first playoff win in more than a quarter-century.

However, in his final season with the Browns, Mayfield passed for just 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, battling through a shoulder injury. Playing on his fifth-year option, Mayfield was hoping to boost his stock ahead of his first stint as a free agent. However, he’s done anything but that and his future beyond this season is still very much in limbo.

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