One of the biggest storylines this NFL offseason has been the curious case of Baker Mayfield with the Cleveland Browns.
The two sides are on opposing sides of a line drawn in the sand. Mayfield is determined to never play a down for the team that took him with the No. 1 overall pick. While the Browns are convinced he will be suiting up for a different NFL squad sooner rather than later.
Interestingly wherever Mayfield lands could affect the future of two former New York Jets quarterbacks.
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A Wrench in the Plans
NFL Insider Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated described the Browns as a “motivated seller” in terms of their aggression to move Mayfield this offseason.
He said there are two clear teams that make the most sense for a possible trade listing the Carolina Panthers and the Seattle Seahawks as the most likely.
Currently, Sam Darnold is the favorite to start at quarterback for Carolina. Panthers head coach Matt Rhule has said on multiple occasions that if the season started today, Darnold would be their lead guy.
While on the opposite coast, ex-Jets QB Geno Smith has the “early lead” on Drew Lock for the starting gig with the Seahawks.
Although both of those dynamics would change drastically if either of their respective teams acquired Mayfield.
The former No. 1 overall pick is due a fully guaranteed $18.85 million salary for the 2022 campaign.
That contract has held up trade talks with other teams.
The Browns have four quarterbacks on their roster, three of which were added this offseason in Deshaun Watson, Jacoby Brissett, and Joshua Dobbs.
Cleveland has planned for life after Baker, despite the fact that he is still on the roster.
It is an awkward staring contest between the organization and every NFL team that is interested in his services. The other 31 teams know that the Browns won’t keep Mayfield and Cleveland is still trying to get the most bang for their buck via trade.
For anyone that is rooting for two former Jets quarterbacks to succeed in their new NFL homes will have to wait with bated breath to see where Mayfield lands. That future acquisition would likely unseat either Gang Green quarterback and send them to the bench.
Just in case anyone was curious, the Jets have zero interest in acquiring Mayfield this offseason.
NFL Insider Josina Anderson pressed head coach Robert Saleh if he was satisfied with his quarterback room and worked Mayfield’s name into the question.
Saleh went on a long diatribe about why Joe Flacco gives them exactly what they need, explained why he believes in Zach Wilson, and how lucky they are to have Mike White who they view as a “starting” caliber quarterback in this league.
Anderson followed up again about Mayfield being out there and Saleh reiterated that we feel good about our room.
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