Former No. 1 Overall Pick QB Names Colts as Preferred Trade Destination: Report

Baker Mayfield

Getty A former top NFL draft pick at quarterback has reportedly picked the Indianapolis Colts as his preferred trade destination.

The Deshaun Watson decision is in. He is reportedly waiving his no trade clause to go to the Cleveland Browns.

That means Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, who is not part of the compensation going to the Houston Texans for Watson, will be on the trading block.

Less than an hour after Watson decided to go to Cleveland, Mayfield has already identified his preferred trade destination.

Jeff Howe of The Athletic reports Mayfield has told the Browns that the Indianapolis Colts are his top choice of teams to be traded to. Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times also reported Mayfield is eyeing a trade to Indianapolis.

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Baker Mayfield Trade Looming for Browns

After it appeared as though the Browns had fallen out of the Watson sweepstakes on March 17, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported Mayfield requested a trade.

Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reported the Browns swiftly declined Mayfield’s request to be traded. But now a day later, the Browns will land Watson, and Mayfield is on the trading block.

Mayfield is 29-30 in his NFL career. He only has one winning season, but considering what other quarterbacks have done in Cleveland over the last 20 years, Mayfield’s nearly .500 record and 2020 playoff win sparkles on his resume.

Last season, the 2018 No. 1 overall selection threw for a career-low 3,010 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also had 13 interceptions, but Jake Trotter of ESPN reported Mayfield underwent shoulder surgery on Jan. 19 and played with a serious shoulder injury after Week 2.

In 2020, Mayfield posted 3,563 passing yards, 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

Still on his rookie contract, Mayfield possesses a cap hit of about $18.8 million for the 2022 season. The Browns exercised Mayfield’s fifth-year option last April. The quarterback will turn 27 on April 14.

Still Plenty of Other Quarterback Options for Colts

While Mayfield identified Indianapolis has his preferred landing spot, the Colts could remain patient can continue to explore all their options.

The Atlanta Falcons went all in on trying to acquire Watson, which could have implications on their relationship with Matt Ryan. The Colts have also been connected to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo since the beginning of the offseason.

Furthermore, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota remain available in free agency.

Ryan is, by far, the oldest of those four quarterbacks, but he could offer a Philip Rivers like short-term solution if available in a trade. Media personality Benjamin Allbright of KOA Colorado reported on March 18 that, like Mayfield, Ryan’s preferred destination if traded is the Colts.

Garoppolo has faced his fair share of criticism in recent years, but the fact remains, during the last two seasons where he started more than 14 games, Garoppolo took the 49ers to at least the NFC Championship Game.

Winston and Mariota haven’t served as a starting quarterback for an entire NFL season the last couple years, but both could come to the Colts without Indianapolis needing to give up any draft capital. Winston and Mariota went first and second overall in the 2015 NFL Draft, respectively.

With multiple quarterbacks reportedly interested in playing for the Colts, general manager Chris Ballard could weigh his options rather than rushing to acquire Mayfield.

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