Steelers Poised to ‘Pounce’ on Baker Mayfield: Browns Insider

Baker Mayfield at Heinz Field

Justin Berl/Getty Images Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns warms up prior to a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on January 3, 2022.

Last week Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner was ridiculed for suggesting that the Pittsburgh Steelers would be a good destination for Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. And as it stands now, the Steelers would have to trade for Mayfield. But what if the Browns found no trade partner for the former No. 1 overall pick and they elected to release him?

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“I had somebody tell me today that the Steelers will pounce on Baker Mayfield, if he becomes available. Like if they cut him and he’s just out there as a street free agent that they would take him in a minute,” said longtime Browns beat reporter May Kay Cabot on’s Orange and Brown Talk podcast.

Of course, if Mayfield was a free agent there would likely be a certain amount of competition for his services.

“… I’m sure a lot of people would (be interested), if you could get him for nothing,” concluded Cabot.

‘It’s a Fire Sale for (Mayfield) Right Now’

Yet according to Cabot, there hasn’t been much interest in terms of trading for Mayfield.

“It’s a fire sale for him right now,” she said, before adding that “there hasn’t been a whole lot of activity” in terms of other teams pursuing him.

“The Colts were his No. 1 choice; that is where he wanted to go, and I heard that so many times I assumed that it was requited love, but apparently it was not…. They were not as sweet on him as he was on them, and they really did not heavily engage,” she said.

Nor will they engage now, as on Monday the Colts traded for Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons, acquiring the former No. 3 overall pick in exchange for a third-round draft choice.

Meanwhile, many of the other quarterback needy teams have made signings or trades to address their needs, including the Saints re-signing former No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston.

Baker Mayfield Salary is $18.858 Million in 2022

The challenge for the Browns is that if Baker Mayfield is on the 53-man roster this season, he has a guaranteed salary of $18.858 million, as per That’s a prohibitively large number for a backup to newly-acquired Deshaun Watson, and could—sooner or later—force the Browns to make a move.

While it seems a little absurd to think that the Steelers would add Baker Mayfield to a quarterback room that already includes former No. 2 overall pick Mitch Trubisky, former first-round pick Dwayne Haskins, and the much-maligned Mason Rudolph, the Steelers could trade or release Rudolph or Haskins if Mayfield were to be onboarded.

Whether or not the Steelers believe Mayfield could be a fit in their plans going forward is another question. Never mind that he beat the Steelers in a postseason game in January 2021 in which the Browns scored 48 points.

Fact is, Mayfield is coming off an injury-plagued season in which he won just six of 14 starts, completed only 60.5% of his passes, and threw only 17 touchdown passes against 13 interceptions, as per Pro Football Reference. Nor is his 87.8 career passer rating anything to get excited about, especially considering the supporting cast he has had on offense.

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