The Cleveland Browns will evaluate all their options to improve the quarterback position this offseason and one option could be a blockbuster draft-day trade that has been proposed which would bring Kyler Murray to the AFC North squad.
In CBS Sports’ latest mock draft, the Browns trade their No. 13 overall pick — and likely Baker Mayfield — to the Cardinals for Murray, who appears to be in a bit of a squabble with his current squad.
Here’s what was said about the proposed draft-day stunner:
Kyler Murray scrapped all mention of Arizona from his social media and it hasn’t exactly been a banner year for Baker Mayfield on the field. It could be in the best interest of each to move on with their careers elsewhere. With that being said, Murray’s representatives probably did not like the contract-extension figures that the Cardinals were offering and the social media purge was his way of making a statement. He is probably seeking an extension in the ballpark of Josh Allen and Arizona is not comfortable paying it given his injury history and the way the season ended.
Murray would be an interesting fit for Kevin Stefanski’s offense, which relies heavily on the ground game and multiple tight end sets. Murray passed for 3,787 yards, 24 touchdowns and 10 interceptions last season. He’s also amassed 1,786 yards on the ground over his first three seasons in the NFL, adding 20 touchdowns with his legs.
The problem for the Browns would be that they need to reload at wide receiver and would be unable to do that with one of the top-flight rookies if they move out of the No. 13 spot. While Murray could be conceived as an upgrade over Mayfield, he wouldn’t have a ton of weapons to work with.
Mayfield Has History With Kliff Kingsbury
Murray was Mayfield’s backup during their time together at Oklahoma, with the duo winning the Heisman Trophy in back-to-back years. They both also went on to be No. 1 overall picks in successive seasons.
However, there could be an issue for the Cardinals when it comes to Mayfield, who played for now-Cardinals skipper Kliff Kingsbury at Texas Tech. The two had issues that eventually led to Mayfield transferring to Oklahoma. Before facing off in 2019, Kingsbury and Mayfield said they put their differences behind them.
“Obviously, I’d like to have that gone differently and handled things differently,” Kingsbury told reporters. “You live and you learn, and I’m just glad we’re in a good place now. Any of those guys I’ve ever worked with, I want [them] to be successful, and I appreciate the work that I was able to do with them.”
Mayfield agreed: “It was a long time ago. We’ve talked since. Played against him a few times since. It’s exactly that: We’re in a good place.”
Browns Need to Make Decision on Mayfield’s Future
The Browns are in a tough spot with Mayfield, who has shown at times he’s capable of being a franchise quarterback but has mostly turned in mixed results. That includes this past season when he battled through injuries for the majority of the year and struggled to get on track.
Mayfield completed just over 60% of his passes last season for 3,010 yards, 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions as the Browns stumbled to an 8-9 record. Mayfield had surgery in January to repair his shoulder and hopes to bounce back as he tries to prove his worth in his fifth and final year of his rookie deal.
The Browns have backed Mayfield publicly as the starter for next season, although the team would be foolish to not at least investigate all their options. The rest of the roster is built to win now and title windows only last so long.