Proposed Trade Lands Browns QB Baker Mayfield With Division Rival

Getty Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns.

The Cleveland Browns are looking for a trade partner for quarterback Baker Mayfield after of team’s blockbuster deal for Deshaun Watson and Hall of Fame QB Kurt Warner believes the Pittsburgh Steelers could get involved.

Warner shared his opinion on NFL Network that the Steelers could be in play for Mayfield and it inspired quite the reaction.

Warner went on to defend his take online after some Steelers fans shot back.

“Kurt Warner just said the Steelers know what Baker is and can bring to the table…he brings nothing. He’s hot garbage. Baker will be cut and be a backup somewhere,” one tweet read.

Warner responded, writing: “Haha – so u don’t feel the same about guys on roster? U think they have proven to be better than Baker?? Cmon man…”

The Steelers currently have Mason Rudolph, Dwayne Haskins and newly-signed free agent quarterback Mitch Trubisky on the roster. The market could be slim for Mayfield but dealing him to a division rival would be quite the move from the Browns, considering they’d have to see him twice per year. Mayfield was 3-5 as a starter during his Cleveland career against the Steelers, notching an all-important Wild Card win against Pittsburgh during the 2020-21 season.

Baker Mayfield ‘Needs to be Humbled’ After Trade Drama

The Browns have to find a team willing to take on Mayfield to get off of his $18.8 million guaranteed salary off the books. The Colts and Seahawks have been mentioned, but there’s a chance that the Browns could have to package a pick with Mayfield to stir up the market, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. He also cited a source that said Mayfield “needs to be humbled” following the fallout with the Browns.

Here’s what Florio had to say about how the situation has unfolded in Cleveland:

Think about it this way. Over the past few days, has any current or former Browns player spoken out in defense of Mayfield?

He’s always had an edge. It has served him well at times. But it seems that he may have taken it too far behind the scenes, alienating the organization and prompting the powers-that-be to move on.

Mayfield passed for 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions this past season but slumped down the stretch, tossing seven of those interceptions in the final three games with the Browns hunting a playoff spot. He had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder in January and is an interesting prospect for a team willing to take a risk that could pay off in a big way.

However, the recency bias won’t work in Mayfield’s favor, but he’s also the QB that helped lead the Browns to their first playoff win in more than a quarter-century just two seasons ago.

Tension Has Existed Between Mayfield and Browns’ Brass

Tension had already existed between Mayfield and the Browns after his lackluster, injury-riddled season. Both sides said all the right things — for the most part — publicly, but the issues seemed deeper-rooted, especially after the team’s pursuit of Watson.

The situation boiled over a bit when Mayfield appeared to take a shot at head coach Kevin Stefanski after his final game of the season — a Week 17 matchup with the Steelers in which he nine times.

“There have been a lot of ups and downs. Do I believe I could play better? Absolutely,” he said. “Do I believe there are positions that we as an offense could’ve been put in that would’ve been better? Absolutely.”

Mayfield will now get a chance to build something new and earn his next contract. The former top pick is on the fifth and final year of his rookie deal that pays nearly $19 million.

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