The Seattle Seahawks still have a “high level” of interest in acquiring Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield and are open to offering the former top overall pick an extension, per a new report.
While the Seahawks’ interest in Mayfield has been disputed at times this offseason, Josina Anderson of CBS Sports believes Seattle is still interested in making a splash for the displaced Browns QB.
“I’m told the Seahawks still have a high-level of interest in acquiring QB Baker Mayfield and behind-the-scenes are open to contractually extending him,” she tweeted on Wednesday, June 22. “I also know that the process of collecting information and insights into Mayfield is still ongoing.”
Mayfield has found himself in no man’s land since the Browns traded for Deshaun Watson. Teams have been unwilling to take on his full $18.9 million salary for next season, holding on to see if the Browns will take on the majority of that number or simply cut him.
But the idea of extending Mayfield beyond the single year he has left on his contract is new premise for a trade. It could make Mayfield open to taking less for this year with the idea that he’d have a clearer picture of his future. But how that would look for a QB coming off a down year with no leverage is the question.
Mayfield completed 60.5% of his passes last season for 3,010 yards, 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He had surgery on a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder this offseason but is expected to be ready to roll for training camp.
Seahawks Have Been Impressed by Their QBs
The Seahawks are currently letting Drew Lock and Geno Smith do battle for the starting spot at QB. Smith — a second-round pick in the 2013 draft — is believed to be the leader in the clubhouse for the role. 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.
Lock 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 their quarterback situation seems far from a sure thing, veteran Seahawks skipper Pete Carroll has maintained that he likes what he has available to him.
“They’ve been really impressive,” Carroll said, per 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.
“Geno’s still ahead — you can tell that — but it’s not going to be too much for Drew to be caught up. By the time we get through camp, he’ll be there. He’s really bright. It makes sense to him. He’s really sharp in the huddle and at the line of scrimmage and all of that, so it’s just time that he needs.”
Panthers Also in Mix for Baker Mayfield
While the market for Mayfield has been slow, Seattle is not the only team in the mix. The Panthers are also floating the idea of adding Mayfield as they continue to see how their situation evolves with Sam Darnold and rookie Matt Corral.
A healthy Mayfield should be an upgrade over Darnold, who passed for 2,527 yards, nine touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 12 games with the Panthers last season as the team finished 5-12. Carolina said they’d be open to upgrade at any position if the opportunity presented itself.
“At any position, if we can make a significant improvement, we absolutely should,” Rhule told reporters as the Panthers wrapped up minicamp on Thursday, June 16. “But we can also make a lot of improvements by our guys playing better this year than they have in the past, and I like where he’s headed.”