NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport joined the Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday to deliver what has become a weekly update on a fairly stagnant situation with Mayfield. He dubbed the recent Mayfield talk as nothing more than an “internet rumor” that has taken on a life of its own.
“There are a couple times this year when this happens, when an internet rumor takes on a life of its own. Believe me, I always check and I’ve heard nothing to corroborate Baker to the Seahawks at all,” Rapoport said. “… It seems crazy to me, but they have never really been that interested in Baker. What they have wanted is a Drew Lock versus Geno Smith battle.”
The Seahawks have been one of two teams most closely linked to Mayfield since the Deshaun Watson blockbuster put him on the trade block. Mayfield himself said he felt Seattle was the most likely destination after the Colts picked up Matt Ryan during a podcast appearance in April.
Seahawks’ Interest in Mayfield Has Been Disputed Previously
The rumor making the rounds recently came from Michael Balko Jr., who has no credentials as a news breaker.
“The Seahawks and the Browns are still in discussions regarding QB Baker Mayfield,” Balko tweeted. “A deal was close to done, but a new team has reportedly entered the Mayfield sweepstakes as well. Stay tuned.”
That seemed to be the tidbit Rapoport was pointing to as an “internet rumor” but his statement made it clear that Mayfield landing with the NFC West squad isn’t likely. The Seahawks’ interest was also disputed by ESPN’s Diana Russini back in May.
“The Seahawks have been telling me from Day 1 they have no interest in Baker Mayfield,” Russini said on the “Ryen Russillo Podcast.” “They’re riding Drew Lock, which we can talk about that another time. That’s their choice.”
If the Seahawks are indeed out, that would leave the Panthers as the lone team really pursuing a deal for Mayfield. The sides have discussed a deal but have been unable to agree on how much of Mayfield’s near $19 million each side will take on.
Seahawks Appear Content With QB Battle
Smith is believed to be the leader in the clubhouse for the starting role in Seattle. He stepped in last year when Russell Wilson was injured and went 1-2, averaging only 26 pass attempts and 190 passing yards per game. The 31-year-old hardly looks like the long-term solution for the Seahawks, who shipped out Wilson this offseason to Denver in a franchise-altering move.
Then there’s Lock, who came over in the Wilson deal. He was a second-round pick of the Broncos in 2019 but never found his footing in Denver. He’s 8-13 as a starter in the NFL and averages 197.5 passing yards per game.
While neither option has the Seahawks fanbase feeling great about their future, head coach Pete Carroll has maintained that he feels good about his QB situation.
“They’ve been really impressive,” Carroll said on June 18, via ESPN. “And it’s not been any one sequence here or one day here. They have just been solid throughout. We’ve shared a ton of reps. Geno has gone with the first group throughout, but they’ve had very close to equal reps in situational opportunities throughout. … They’ve done a terrific job so far. They look in control.”
Mayfield is coming off a down season where he completed 60.5% of his passes for 3,010 yards, 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He had surgery on a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder this offseason but will be ready to roll for training camp. While it was a down year, Mayfield has shown his potential as a franchise QB, helping lead the Browns to the postseason and Wild Card win during the 2020-21 season.