Proposed Trade Robs Seahawks in Exchange for Former Starting Quarterback

Pete Carroll

Getty Pete Carroll coaches during the playoffs.

The Seattle Seahawks insist the team is not trading for a quarterback while the Cleveland Browns remain steadfast in their desire not to eat any of Baker Mayfield’s $18.8 million salary to help facilitate a trade. Bleacher Report’s Jake Rill suggested a hypothetical trade proposal that is likely to anger Seahawks fans.

The proposal has the Seahawks sending their 2023 and 2024 third-round picks in exchange for Mayfield. Rill believes the Seahawks would allow Mayfield to “take his game to another level.”

“Still, it’s hard to completely rule the Seahawks out of the Mayfield picture,” Rill wrote on May 16, 2022. “They no longer have Russell Wilson, who they traded to the Denver Broncos earlier this offseason. If the season started today, then Drew Lock would likely be Seattle’s starting QB, with Geno Smith and Jacob Eason also on the depth chart.

“Mayfield is better than all of those quarterbacks, and he could potentially thrive in an offense that features wide receivers Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, as well as tight end Noah Fant. That situation could possibly allow Mayfield to take his game to another level.”

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The Seahawks Are Unlikely to Give Up a Day-2 Pick for Mayfield

At this point, it would be an upset if the Seahawks traded for Mayfield as there has been plenty of opportunities to do a deal this offseason. The idea of the Seahawks giving up multiple third-round picks for Mayfield is likely a non-starter for Seattle. Without mentioning Mayfield by name, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll did leave the door open to potentially adding a veteran quarterback via free agency if they became available.

“Honestly, we’re going to keep looking and seeing what’s available but only to help our club and try to make us better,” Carroll noted during a May 5 interview on Seattle KJR’s “The Ian Furness Show.” “If the case presents itself, we’re going to be ready for it.”

Seattle Sports’ Jake Heaps believes the Seahawks would “be aggressive” if Mayfield is cut but are not “anywhere close to being interested in trading for Baker Mayfield.”

“Via trade? 0% chance,” Heaps said during a May 10, 2022 episode of “Jake and Stacy.” “Via free agency after being cut? 100% chance. That’s how I feel. That is the disparity between the two. There is no way, no how the Seahawks are going to be anywhere close to being interested in trading for Baker Mayfield.”

Will the Browns Hold Onto Mayfield Until Making a Mid-Season Trade?

With the Browns not making a trade involving Mayfield during the draft, there is some speculation that Cleveland could wait to deal the quarterback during the season after a team sustains an unfortunate injury to their QB1. The Browns are awaiting word on a potential suspension for Deshaun Watson, and could utilize Mayfield as their temporary starter under this scenario.

This would be less than ideal given the icy relationship between Mayfield and the Browns. Cleveland traded for Jacoby Brissett as insurance for a potential suspension and the sooner the Browns resolve the Mayfield saga the better for all parties. CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson reported that there is a disconnect with teams like the Panthers and Seahawks “feel[ing] the Browns have to get rid of Baker.”

“Baker Mayfield is set to make $18.858M from his 5th year option,” Anderson detailed in a series of May 9 tweets.” Even if Carolina paid 50% of that salary, that’s roughly $9M. That’s nothing if he’s starting. Add that to Sam Darnold’s option…that’s roughly $28M –$3M approx above Jimmy G by himself. This is not about money. …Matt Corral getting 3rd round money. Carolina can make this work just like Seattle can. This is about perception and principle. Teams feel the Browns have to get rid of Baker. Not soon they don’t. Deshaun’s making $1M+ this season & we’re still waiting to hear his status.”

Mayfield is just one year removed from leading the Browns on a playoff run and offers Carroll the kind of chip-on-the-shoulder player that the Seahawks tend to embrace. Yet, Seattle appears to only be interested in Mayfield if the Browns release the quarterback. Otherwise, all signs point to the Seahawks leaning on Drew Lock and Geno Smith despite Mayfield being an obvious fit for receiving a second chance in Seattle.