Seahawks Predicted by NFL Execs to Sign Former Starting Quarterback: Report

Pete Carroll John Schneider

Getty The pressure is on Seahawks general manager John Schneider (left) and head coach Pete Carroll.

NFL executives expect both Baker Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo will be released prior to the start of the season, potentially giving the Seattle Seahawks their pick of multiple starting quarterbacks. Heavy already explored the idea of adding Garoppolo, but the buzz around the NFL is that Mayfield would sign with the Seahawks upon his release. ESPN’s Dan Graziano reported that a straw poll of NFL executives labeled the Seahawks as the favorites to land Mayfield, while Garoppolo is expected to join the Panthers if both players are ultimately cut.

“The majority of the people to whom I spoke for this story believe both players will likely end up being released,” Graziano wrote on June 10. “A couple of people thought Garoppolo might still draw trade interest, provided an acquiring team could work out something to knock down the salary or spread it out over a couple of years.

“The most popular destination for Garoppolo among those to whom I spoke was the Panthers. The most popular landing spot for Mayfield in our straw poll was the Seahawks. They don’t seem interested in trading for him, but could, if he gets released, sign him to a low-cost deal and add him to a quarterback room that includes Geno Smith and Drew Lock in the wake of the Russell Wilson trade.”

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The Browns Insist the Team Will Not Release Mayfield

The Browns continue to insist they have no plans to release Mayfield and will hold onto the quarterback as long as it takes to find a trade partner. Mayfield’s $18.8 million salary is guaranteed, and the Browns will be required to pay the majority of the money even if the quarterback is released.

NFL front office members are not buying Cleveland’s hardline stance, even with mounting evidence pointing to a possible suspension for Deshaun Watson. The Browns excused Mayfield from their upcoming mandatory minicamp, showing the team has no plans to use Mayfield in a temporary QB1 role even if Watson is forced to miss games. Cleveland lost whatever leverage they had when the team traded for Jacoby Brissett, who the franchise has anointed as the backup behind Watson.

The ‘Overwhelming Majority’ of NFL Execs Believe Browns Cannot Fix Relationship With Mayfield

The Browns could look to make a mid-season deal with Mayfield after a team potentially loses their starting quarterback to injury, but it less than ideal to have the storyline dragging into the fall. According to Graziano, the “overwhelming majority” of his league sources believe that the Browns’ relationship with Mayfield is not “salvageable.”

“Problem is, it doesn’t sound as if the relationship between Mayfield and the Browns is salvageable,” Graziano explained. “Of the people I talked to for this story, the overwhelming majority believed there’s no chance Mayfield will ever play for the Browns again.

“‘He’s done with them, and they’re done with him,’ one source said. ‘That was true once he found out they were trying to trade for Deshaun.'”

The Seahawks have shown no sense of urgency to acquire Mayfield or any other quarterback while expressing confidence in both Drew Lock and Geno Smith. Likewise, Cleveland refuses to hit the panic button by cutting Mayfield without receiving any compensation in return for the former No. 1 pick. If both teams remain stubborn, it could end up that neither franchise is happy with the end result from their choices.

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