The Carolina Panthers have reached a verdict on trading for Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, who they have been consistently linked to the last month.
While a trade appeared imminent at one point, the Panthers’ plans changed after drafting Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral in the third round.
“One of the things that really stood out, aside from the physical traits, was the competitiveness and toughness of him. The guy took a pounding—kept getting up, kept getting up,” Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer told reporters. “And when it just comes to the physical traits—the quick release, the mobility, the ability to get out and run, throw on the run. He sees the field well. He processes quickly. So all those things really stood out to us.”
The Panthers add Corral to a quarterback room that includes former first-round pick Sam Darnold and PJ Walker. Now with a rookie quarterback to groom, it appears Mayfield is out of the mix for Carolina.
“We’re happy with the group we have,’’ Fitterer said. “I never put an absolute on anything. [But] we came into this weekend with the intention of getting a quarterback, and that’s what we did. And we’re going to go with this group.”
Mayfield Trade to Panthers Looked Imminent
The Panthers appeared to be the team highest on Mayfield via trade, although quarterbacks falling in the draft might have changed the strategy. ESPN’s Kimberly Martin reported that a trade between Cleveland and Carolina appeared imminent earlier in the day.
“The Panthers’ pursuit of Baker Mayfield continues to heat up,” she tweeted. “The Browns quarterback *COULD* end up in CAR by tonight or this weekend…”
Now with Corral on the depth chart, that appears much more unlikely for the Panthers. It’s an unfortunate development for the Browns, who already had a thin market for the former top pick.
Baker Mayfield Feels Seattle Is Most Likelt Destination
With the Panthers seemingly out of the mix, the Browns have to be looking at the Seahawks as the most logical destination for Mayfield. That’s the team the former first overall pick identified as his most likely destination during an appearance on the Ya Never Know: You know What I Mean? podcast.
“[If] this would have been about a week and a half ago, I would have said Indianapolis,” Mayfield said when asked about where he would land this offseason. “Seattle, I mean, would probably be the most likely option. But, even then, I have no idea.
“I’m ready for the next chapter, the next opportunity.”
Mayfield’s four-year tenure in Cleveland has been a mixed bag. After setting the rookie touchdown record in 2018 and leading the team to their first postseason berth in nearly two decades in 2020, Mayfield tossed just 17 touchdowns to 13 interceptions last season, slumping down the stretch as the team finished 8-9.
Mayfield is hoping for a fresh start with his new squad and has the chance to earn another contract as long as he gets on the field.