The Detroit Lions have a quarterback in Jared Goff, so the likelihood of them making a big trade at this point seems slim. Still, during a wild NFL offseason, it’s never wise to operate in absolutes.
Many have made the case in recent weeks that the Lions should jump in the market for quarterback Baker Mayfield. There hasn’t been any rumors about Mayfield to Detroit specifically, but that hasn’t stopped folks from talking about the possibility of the deal playing out.
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The latest person to mention the chance of Mayfield being on the move and specifically to Detroit is Sports Illustrated insider Albert Breer. In a MMQB piece, Breer discusses the next move that Cleveland has with Mayfield, and admits it may be hard to facilitate a trade. Still, he sees a shot to do a deal with a team like the Lions, who could be in the market for another quarterback to help solve a problem at the position.
Breer wrote in an update a hit about Mayfield, and said money could determine what happens with the quarterback. As he said, Cleveland figuring out how to eat some money on the deal and then finding a deal could be an ideal way to proceed.
“Ultimately, to me, doing that, then dealing him to a team like the Seahawks or Lions, where he could compete with another reclamation project quarterback (Drew Lock or Jared Goff), and give those teams another shot at getting their quarterback spot right, makes the most sense,” Breer wrote in the piece.
Detroit keeps surfacing as a possible Mayfield destination, and it will be interesting to see if that is substantive or not in the months ahead. Money-wise, Goff is owed $31 million this season, so Mayfield would be an expensive backup unless the Browns ate salary. Without that, a deal to Detroit may not be possible.
As usual, the phrase never say never applies. It simply seems difficult to see the Lions making a move here, but they keep coming up as a potential destination.
How Lions Could Facilitate a Potential Mayfield Trade
The Lions wouldn’t necessarily have to move on from Jared Goff if they wanted to acquire Mayfield, but it would make the most sense to do so. As a result, the team might have to use another squad as part of a three-way trade if the Browns didn’t want to take Goff back in a potential Mayfield deal. Detroit could trade one of their two third-round picks in the deal as is hinted to in the Bleacher Report piece. They could also hope to find another team to take Goff off their hands in a separate trade entirely after landing Mayfield if a deal was to occur.
Detroit might not have to give up much to land Mayfield, but there’s no guarantee that the Lions would make that trade happen anyway. The team’s front office seems bought into Goff, especially considering Brad Holmes helped draft him in Los Angeles and bring him to Detroit. Holmes has maintained that he believes in Goff, especially after his solid finish to the 2021 season which featured 10 touchdowns to just 2 interceptions for the quarterback after Thanksgiving.
Still, acquiring Mayfield in Detroit would likely come down to working the finances with Goff or finding a willing taker for him on the open market. It would be hard to see the pair co-existing, especially with the Lions having re-signed both their backups in Tim Boyle and David Blough.
Mayfield’s Stats & Highlights
Since coming into the league in 2018 out of Oklahoma as a Heisman Trophy winner, Mayfield has played solidly for Cleveland, and has helped shatter some past records which many folks believed would never be broken by the Browns. Notably, Mayfield won Cleveland’s first playoff game in 23 years in 2021 when he beat Pittsburgh on the road. Aside from that, his statistics have been up and down in his career. Mayfield has put up 14,125 passing yards, 92 touchdowns and 54 interceptions. Here’s a look at some of his best work on the field so far in the pros:
There’s no question Mayfield is a talented player. There’s also no question he has a few holes in his game and things that can be improved upon. Whether or not the Browns want to move on remains to be seen, but if they do, the Lions could well be a team that gets a call thanks mostly to the John Dorsey connection and their perceived future needs at the spot.
Detroit doesn’t seem close to a deal for any quarterback much less Mayfield. Still, the longer his situation goes unresolved, the more the Lions will be a team to watch for him.