The Seattle Seahawks continue to be linked to disgruntled Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield with NFL insider Mike Lombardo labeling Pete Carroll’s crew as the favorites to land the signal-caller. Lombardo reacted to CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson’s June 22 report that the Seahawks “have a high-level of interest” in adding Mayfield.
“The Seahawks have been lurking all offseason, and have felt — at least based on what I’ve been told, to be the favorites to land Baker Mayfield,” Lombardo tweeted on June 23.
According to Anderson, the Seahawks are not only interested in adding Mayfield but would be willing to sign the veteran quarterback to an extension. Mayfield is entering the final season of his four-year, $32.6 million contract and is slated to have an $18.8 million salary for 2022. The quarterback’s salary continues to be the sticking point in potential trades as interested teams are pushing the Browns to eat a good portion of Mayfield’s money.
“I’m told the Seahawks still have a high-level of interest in acquiring QB Baker Mayfield and behind-the-scenes are open to contractually extending him, per league source,” Anderson detailed on Twitter on June 22. “I also know that the process of collecting information and insights into Mayfield is still ongoing.”
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Are the Seahawks Being Used as Leverage?
Not everyone is buying the idea that the Seahawks are pushing to trade for Mayfield. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio indicated that the Seahawks rumors could be an “effort by someone to create a market that doesn’t exist.”
“My own personal reaction to the recent suggestion that the Seahawks still have a high level of interest in trading for Mayfield was that it feels like an effort by someone to create a market that doesn’t exist,” Florio wrote on June 28. “The clock is ticking toward either a resolution of his status with the Browns or a degree of awkwardness that would be far more entertaining than any news of a trade or a release could ever be.”
Mayfield Has Ruled Out a Return to the Browns
With a likely hefty suspension looming for new Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, there has been some buzz that the Browns could look to reconcile with Mayfield. The quarterback shut the door on this notion during a June 28 interview with SoonerScoop.com’s Casey Murdock.
“’No. I think for that to happen there would have to be some reaching out. But we’re ready to move on, I think, on both sides.’ – Baker Mayfield when asked if a reconciliation could be reached if Watson had to sit out this season,” Murdock tweeted.
Despite the recent rumors, The Athletic’s Michael-Shawn Dugar views Geno Smith or Drew Lock as the likely Seahawks starter. Dugar noted that the Seahawks would be interested in Mayfield or Jimmy Garoppolo only if either quarterback were released.
“Smith has the lead in this two-man competition, but Lock will have the chance to catch up when training camp begins in late July,” Dugar wrote on June 28. “Jacob Eason will get reps, too, but he’s not a legitimate candidate to win the starting job. Eason is only 24, has a strong arm and is listed at 6-foot-6, so he’ll likely stick around on the practice squad if he looks serviceable in his limited preseason action. I believe Seattle’s 2022 starting quarterback is already on the roster, though I wouldn’t be surprised if the Seahawks took a serious look at either Baker Mayfield or Jimmy Garoppolo if they hit the free-agent market.”