Proposed Trade Sends Browns QB Baker Mayfield to Lowly NFC North Squad

Baker Mayfield

Getty Images Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns.

The NFL draft has come and gone and the Cleveland Browns have still not found any takers for Baker Mayfield — at least at his current salary.

That being said, the draft exposed significant holes for some teams, including the Detroit Lions, which one writer sees as nice fit for Mayfield.

Mayfield landing with the Lions was one of 10 “moves that should be made” after the draft, according to a May 1 story by Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports.

“Is he that much of an upgrade on Jared Goff? Maybe not,” Benjamin wrote. “Have the Lions said publicly they’re OK with Goff under center? Yes. But after failing to add to the position in the draft, Detroit is sorely lacking juice here.”

Detroit is trying to move in the right direction after a 3‑13‑1 campaign, and Jared Goff, who had his least-productive year since 2016, has not looked like a long-term — or even short-term — solution to win games.

“Mayfield, while still a mid-tier option, is younger, cheaper and brings far more of the moxie [Lions head coach] Dan Campbell seemingly prefers,” Benjamin wrote. “Worst-case scenario, the soon-to-be-ex-Browns QB gives you Goff-level competence and hits free agency after the year. Best-case, he proves to be an actual longer-term starter.”

Goff Expressed Confidence in Role With Lions

The Lions did not take a quarterback in the draft, instead going defense-heavy with their eight picks. The two offensive additions for Detroit were first-round receiver Jameson Williams and fifth-round tight end James Mitchell. With their No. 2 overall pick they selected pass rusher Aidan Hutchinson.

Before the draft, Goff said he would be comfortable with his role in Detroit even if the team were to draft a quarterback to be his eventual successor.

“What do I make of the talk? The talk is always just the talk. If it happens, great, I’ll deal with it from there and be the best player I can be,” Goff told ESPN for an April 21 story. “If it doesn’t, you guys probably won’t talk about it again, so it’s the way the media cycle works. Again, I trust those guys up top. They’ve expressed confidence in me so I’m excited.

“I’m always trying to be the best I can be. Always trying to prove myself right and prove the doubters wrong and be the best I can be, but no, any time you win three games, there’s going to be discussion at a lot of positions, and quarterback’s no different. I’ve had to prove myself every year, every day and work as best I can and be the best I can every day.”

Goff passed for 3,245 yards with 19 touchdowns and 8 interceptions last season. He missed a trio of games but was under center for all three of the Lions’ wins.

Former Browns GM John Dorsey Is Now in Detroit

The fact that former Browns general manager John Dorsey is now in the Lions’ front office has pushed forward the Mayfield-to-Detroit rumors. Dorsey drafted Mayfield No. 1 overall in 2018 while in Cleveland.

The Mayfield-to-Detroit bandwagon has been led by Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, who believes it should be a “no-brainer” for the Lions.

“Baker Mayfield versus Jared Goff is a no-brainer,” Florio wrote on March 22. “Mayfield is the right guy for the Lions, right now. John Dorsey, who drafted Mayfield in Cleveland and currently works in Detroit, should be buddyboying his way around the building, in an effort to create a consensus that they should go get Mayfield.”

The problem the Browns have faced in finding suitors for Mayfield has not been his talent, albeit his showing in Cleveland was a mixed bag over the last four years. The real sticking point has been his salary of nearly $19 million, which teams would want Cleveland to eat a chunk of in any trade.

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Paul Salongo
Paul Salongo
25 days ago

Why on god’s green earth would the lions take baker over Goff.
Goff is rebounding. They gave him no wr and a crappy OC at the start of last season.
When that was partly fixed in november, goff was one of the better qbs in the league.

Now the lions are supposed to give that up. Lazy journalism is right.

By the way, baker isn’t terrible. Just needs to mature. Also, the Browns have themselves a nice wr in Isaiah Weston.
Good luck.

Jesus Jackson
Jesus Jackson
26 days ago

Jesus, would people like you STOP with the lazy writing!??? Let me break this down for people like you and Florio who don’t want to do their research. First, Baker is not a culture fit, DC has made it very clear there are no me guys on this team, check your ego at the door if you want to be here. Not drama queen QBs who’s teams describes in so many words that he’s not an adult. And secondly, JARED GOFF COUNTS 33 MILLION AGAINST THE CAP! With a dead cap hit of 41 million! Why would we take on Baker’s 18 million on top of that?? Why would we wrap up 51 million dollars in QB??? This isn’t and shouldn’t happen. Do your job and actually be a journalist

John Clark
John Clark
26 days ago

Hey, we already stuck with a high paid mediocre QB. We don’t need another one. Thank you very much. Keep him in Cleveland, or just eat his salary and just give him away, he might be worth taking that way.

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