With the trade deadline quickly approaching, there has been speculation that the Cleveland Browns could make a move for a quarterback, bolstering their depth chart even further with the health of Baker Mayfield being a big question mark.
CBS Sports proposed a trade that has the Browns landing Raiders backup Marcus Mariota, the former No. 2 overall pick who is behind Derek Carr in Las Vegas currently. Here’s what they had to say about the deal:
Will Baker Mayfield be able to play through both a torn labrum and a bone fracture? That’s asking a lot, even for the toughest of quarterbacks, leaving the Browns with the possibility of having to rely on backup quarterback Case Keenum going forward. That’s a scary proposition considering Keenum is 28-35 as a starter, and while the Browns were able to hold off the struggling Broncos in Week 7, Keenum missed on 12 of his 33 pass attempts en route to 199 yards and just one touchdown. Those numbers won’t cut it against the upper class of the AFC, and Mariota gives them a better chance at staving off dark days. All they have to do is convince the Raiders of Derek Carr’s durability and Mariota, who has a no-trade clause, that it’s better to start in Cleveland than to sit in Las Vegas.
Mayfield Expected to Play Against Steelers on Sunday
Mayfield will start on Sunday against the Steelers despite a torn labrum and fracture in his non-throwing shoulder. However, the former top pick is just one big hit away from making the injury worse and possibly missing more time.
The reason he couldn’t play last week was that the swelling in the shoulder was so severe that he was putting himself at risk by being on the field.
“I am still taking it day by day to be honest with you because you can do certain things to repair the stuff inside the rotator cuff and strengthen it up,” Mayfield told reporters this week. “If you examine a lot of people’s shoulders, you will see a lot of partial tears in those labrums. You can do things to, I guess, help with that. We will evaluate that when the time needs.”
Mayfield suffered the injury while trying to make a tackle in Week 2 after an interception. He has looked sharp in practice leading up to the Week 8 matchup against the Steelers but has looked off at times while on the field this season. Mayfield has passed for 1,474 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions this season.
Browns Have Capable Backup in Case Keenum
The Browns have a capable backup in Case Keenum but acquiring a name like Mariota could give the team another reliable veteran behind him if anything were to happen and Mayfield is sidelined.
Mariota has a 29-32 record as a starter in the NFL, all of those starts coming with the Titans. He’s passed for 13,433 yards, 77 touchdowns and 45 interceptions in his career.
The Browns are paying Keenum handsomely to sit behind Mayfield, inking him to a three-year, $18 million contract two offseasons ago. He led the Browns to a victory against the Broncos last week, passing for 199 yards and a score.