Trade Proposal Flips Browns’ Baker Mayfield for Super Bowl Starting QB

Getty Images Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.

The Cleveland Browns may have fewer suitors for Baker Mayfield than many have expected over the last several months.

While the Carolina Panthers remain in the driver’s seat to acquire Mayfield with the Seattle Seahawks riding shotgun, the Detroit Lions have remained a dark horse candidate to swoop in and make a last-minute deal for the quarterback.

The primary reason for that is John Dorsey, the onetime general manager in Cleveland and now a high-ranking member of the Lions’ front office. Detroit may also soon be in the market for a new signal caller, if the team isn’t already. The Lions traded Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams last season, receiving Jared Goff as part of the return. Stafford went on to win a championship in Southern California, while Goff’s arm was colder than winter in Detroit leading his teammates to a 3-10-1 record across 14 starts.

The Lions are desperate to field a winner and with Dorsey as an influential advocate, Mayfield, who has one year left on his contract, feels like a realistic possibility. If it works, the organization can re-sign him. If it doesn’t, they can trade him midseason or move on next year absent any complications.

However, Mary Kay Cabot of threw some cold water Sunday on the idea of Mayfield moving to the Motor City, noting financial constraints surrounding Goff’s contract as the primary obstacle to any deal getting done.

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Lions May Have Too Much Tied Up in Goff for Mayfield Trade to Work

Jared Goff

GettyQuarterback Jared Goff received a $15.5 million roster bonus in March.

In a piece published July 3, Cabot laid out her explanation for why Mayfield-to-Detroit might be tough to pull off, including what the Lions have already invested in Goff and what the Browns believe they have in Jacoby Brissett as a backup option to embattled starting QB Deshaun Watson.

“It’s true that Mayfield has a huge advocate in the Lions front office in senior personnel executive John Dorsey, who drafted Mayfield when he was GM of the Browns,” Cabot wrote. “But it’s not as simple as it seems.

“The Lions paid Goff a roster bonus of $15.5 million on March 17, and they wouldn’t recoup it. His cap hit this season is $31.150 million.

“What’s more, the Browns probably don’t consider Goff much of an upgrade over Jacoby Brissett, whom they feel can get the job done this season in relief of Watson, especially if it’s half a season or less.

“The Browns will still try to trade Mayfield, possibly to the Panthers, and they hope to move him by the start of training camp July 27,” Cabot wrote.

Mayfield Continues to Catch Heat as Trade Drama Draws Out

Baker Mayfield

Getty ImagesQuarterback Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns continues to face criticism as trade talks persist.

A product of Mayfield’s name being constantly bandied about in trade rumors is that there is ample opportunity to criticize him, which many have done openly.

The most recent person to engage in such talk is free agent linebacker K.J. Wright, who spent 11 years with the Seahawks, where he earned a trip to the Pro Bowl in 2016. Wright appeared last week on the SiriusXM program “I am Athlete Tonight” and said that neither Mayfield nor former Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock is fit to replace the recently traded Russell Wilson.

“I’ll tell you not Baker Mayfield,” Wright said, according to Pro Football Talk. “Not Drew Lock. We ain’t gonna play those games. I’m team Geno [Smith] all day.”

Smith signed a one-year deal worth $3.5 million to return to the Seahawks after appearing in four regular season games last year (1-2 as a starter), in which he completed 68.4 percent of his passes for 702 yards, five touchdowns and just one interception, per Pro Football Reference.

Smith is 13-21 as a starter in the NFL and has put up 34 touchdowns against 37 interceptions across eight years as a professional. Most of those starts and stats came as a member of the New York Jets early in his career. Mayfield, on the other hand, is 29-30 as the Browns starter over the last four seasons and has thrown 92 touchdown passes compared to just 56 interceptions.

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Abby Elliot
Abby Elliot
1 month ago

Baker is a LOT better than what The Browns have made him out to be. If he comes out of there with that ‘something to prove’ mentality, he would do wonders for The Lions, or any other team that gives him a chance. No disrespect to Goff, but he does not have the same fire and talent that Mayfield has.
I’ve been a Lions fan for a long time. I would be ecstatic to swing this somehow. Even if we gave up Okudah.

Jay Walsh
Jay Walsh
1 month ago

“The Lions are desperate to field a winner…” So, let’s trade for a career .500 qb when we have a winning qb already? This only makes sense if the Browns had a 1st round pick next year. IF we could got baker, plus a 1st, they get goff and I dunno, how about trinity benson? The lions would move up with 3 picks in round 1 and get their next qb, let baker have a prove it year while the kids sits, then get a comp pick when he signs somwhere. Also, they got fleeced by the texas, so, why would we take on a worse qb? Baker to the lions is dumb. He should land in GB or something

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