Proposed Trade Sends Browns Baker Mayfield to NFC West for Draft Pick

Baker Mayfield

Getty Images Quarterback Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns.

It’s official — the Cleveland Browns are shopping polarizing quarterback Baker Mayfield to interested trade partners around the NFL.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported Wednesday, March 16, that a Mayfield trade is imminent, noting inside information that the Browns are in search of an “adult” to replace the former No. 1 overall pick at the position. Cleveland appears hopeful that said replacement will end up being Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, though the connotation of his off-field behavior with the term “adult” could certainly be questioned considering the 22 sexual misconduct scandals/civil cases in which he remains embroiled.

But even if it isn’t Watson who takes his place, Mortensen said a split between the Browns and Mayfield is on the immediate horizon.

“They’re breaking up, regardless of whether or not Deshaun Watson ends up in Cleveland,” Mortensen said. “The one thing that I was told is that it’s just not a match emotionally.”

Beyond who ends up their next quarterback, the two biggest questions on the minds of Browns fans now ought to be, “Where will Mayfield go?” and “What will we get back for him?”

Alex Kay of Bleacher Report tackled those questions Wednesday and came up with a few answers. The one that makes arguably the most sense, however, is a deal with the Seattle Seahawks. The Hawks just shipped QB Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos in return for a haul of players and picks, but Seattle is still absent a true path forward under center.

Furthermore, Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson reported Wednesday that league sources predict the Seahawks will be major players for Mayfield, though other suitors likely include the Indianapolis Colts and the Detroit Lions.

As part of Kay’s trade proposal, the Seahawks would get the rights to the final year of Mayfield’s rookie contract, which carries a salary just north of $18.8 million. In return, the Browns would receive Seattle’s third-round pick (No. 72 overall) in the upcoming NFL Draft.

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Mayfield Can Remake His Career With Seahawks’ Talented Wide Receivers

Seattle Seahawks

GettyWide receiver DK Metcalf (right) of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates his touchdown catch with wide receiver Tyler Lockett (left) during a game against the Detroit Lions on January 2, 2022.

The Seahawks had a rough year in 2021 but the offensive side of their roster is undeniably talented, starting with wide receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.

Kay elaborated on why a marriage of Mayfield to the Seahawks makes so much sense.

Both Mayfield and the Seahawks are coming off disappointing seasons. Seattle missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2017 campaign, and its 7-10 finish marked the club’s worst winning percentage since Pete Carroll became head coach in 2010.

Mayfield will try to get back into the form he showed in 2020. The QB threw for an impressive 3,563 yards and 26 touchdowns against eight interceptions, leading the Browns to their first postseason victory since 1994.

Seattle has six selections from Nos. 40 to 153 this year, so there is little doubt the team could come up with an enticing enough package to snatch Mayfield. The financial portion won’t be tricky either. The Seahawks are projected to be $39.2 million under the cap.

Mayfield Issues Message to Browns Fans

Getty ImagesQuarterback Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns.

Whether it’s in Seattle or elsewhere, it appears Mayfield knows his time in Cleveland has just about reached its conclusion.

The quarterback took to his social media channels Tuesday after the Browns held a highly publicized meeting to court Watson. The statement Mayfield issued felt like both a thank-you note and a goodbye letter simultaneously.

This is not a message with hidden meaning. This is strictly to thank the city of Cleveland for embracing my family and me. We have made many memories and shared growing in this process through all the ups and downs. I have no clue what happens next, which is the meaning behind the silence I have had during the duration of this process. I can only control what I can, which is trusting in God’s plan throughout this process.

I have given this franchise everything I have. That is something I’ve always done at every stage and at every level. And that will not change wherever I take my next snap. Whatever happens, I just want to say thank you to the fans who truly embraced who I am and the mentality that aligned so well with this city’s hard working people.

Cleveland will always be part of Emily and my story. And we will always be thankful for the impact it has had, and will have, in our lives.

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