The Seattle Seahawks have been one of the teams linked to displaced and disgruntled Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, and the idea that the NFC West squad could make a trade for the former to pick is gaining steam.
In fact, Seattle-based radio personality Mike Salk of 710 AM Sports said it appears to be a lock that Mayfield will eventually end up in a Seahawks uniform.
“It seems now to me very clear – the Seahawks are going to get Baker Mayfield,” Salk said on the June 2 episode of the “Brock and Salk Podcast.”
The Browns have been unable to find any takers for Mayfield, who is due nearly $19 million for next season after coming off a down year. He tossed 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions as the Browns stumbled to an 8-9 finish.
Personally, Mayfield limped to the finish line with a banged-up shoulder. He suffered the injury in Week 2 while attempting a tackle after an interception and wore a brace on his shoulder following the injury. He had surgery this offseason and is expected to be ready to roll for training camp.
QB Geno Smith Has Edge for Seahawks Starting Role
The Seahawks are currently letting Drew Lock and Geno Smith do battle for the starting spot at QB. And according to offensive coordinator Shane Waldron, the veteran Smith is the leader in the clubhouse for the top spot on the depth chart. Smith went 1-2 last season while filling in for Russell Wilson.
“Right now, Geno has done such a good job of carrying over [from 2021]. He already had a head start over Drew right there,” Waldron said on 93.3 KJR radio in May. “We have a long time to go. We are just in T-shirts and shorts right now, going against air. We have a long way to go to see where this competition goes.”
Salk said the idea of Smith starting only fueled his speculation that Mayfield would eventually end up in Seattle to take the reins at quarterback.
“This idea that Geno Smith is going to start the season as the Seahawks’ starting quarterback, it just doesn’t make any sense,” Salk said. “Not for a team that refuses to say that they’re tanking, a team that will never use the phrase rebuilding, a coach [Pete Carroll] who says that he’s going to compete every day, a team that made every effort to go out and get Deshaun Watson as soon as they gave up on Russell Wilson.”
Seahawks’ Interest in Mayfield Has Been Disputed
The Seahawks and Carolina Panthers have been the two teams most prominently rumored to be considering Mayfield, although Seattle’s interest in the former top pick has been disputed.
“The Seahawks have been telling me from Day 1 they have no interest in Baker Mayfield,” ESPN’s Diana Russini said during a May appearance on the “Ryen Russillo Podcast.” “They’re riding Drew Lock, which we can talk about that another time. That’s their choice.”
Carroll also seemed to dismiss the idea of trading for another quarterback.
“I don’t see us making a trade for anybody at all,” Carroll said May 5 on Sports Radio 93.3 KJR-FM in Seattle. “I don’t see that happening.”
The Browns are motivated to get a deal done to eliminate the distraction of Mayfield. However, the team has been unwilling to stretch too far on a trade and has said it would not be cutting Mayfield, which would put them on the hook for his entire salary.
We’ll see how it all shakes out, but it’s clear that Mayfield could firmly play into the quarterback mix in the Pacific Northwest. But if a deal doesn’t happen soon, Mayfield and the Browns’ next hurdle is navigating mandatory minicamp June 14-16. Mayfield — who sat out OTAs — has not said he would attend, and the Browns are mum on whether or not he would be excused. If he’s not excused, he’ll be fined every day he’s absent.