The Seattle Seahawks have made their final decision on Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.
According to a report from ESPN’s Dianna Russini while appearing on the Ryen Russillo Podcast on Tuesday, May 3, the Seahawks have “no interest” in acquiring the veteran quarterback. In fact, according to Russini, Seattle hasn’t had any interest since Day 1.
“The Seahawks have been telling me from Day 1 they have no interest in Baker Mayfield,” Russini said. “They’re riding Drew Lock, which we can talk about that another time. That’s their choice.”
Mayfield has been the subject of trade rumors since the Browns acquired three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson back in March. When Cleveland gave Watson the largest guaranteed deal in NFL history, the writing was on the wall for Mayfield’s eventual departure.
Why Seahawks May Not Have Interest in Mayfield
The Seahawks — along with the Carolina Panthers — have been the two most prominent teams mentioned in the Mayfield sweepstakes. The big concern regarding a possible trade has been Mayfield’s $18.9 million cap hit for the 2022 season. As Russini notes, the Browns do not appearing to be willing to eat a portion of that salary.
“The Cleveland Browns do not want to take on that contract,” Russini said. “They don’t want to pay for that. I don’t know the number they’re willing to go to—but the last I checked, which was about a week-and-a-half ago—they want nothing to do with that deal. If you want Baker Mayfield, you’re going to pay that money. Cleveland’s not going to try to split it up with you.”
Seattle made it very clear during the 2022 NFL draft that they’re comfortable with both Lock and Geno Smith as their quarterbacks entering the season. The Seahawks passed on selecting any quarterback on draft day, passing on the likes of Malik Willis and Matt Corral. Both quarterbacks were projected to be selected in the first round in many mock drafts, but slipped all the way down to the third round.
The Seahawks always intended to enter offseason activities with four quarterbacks — and they’l do so without Mayfield. Seattle returns Jacob Eason — who served as the third-string quarterback last season — and signed undrafted free agent quarterback Levi Lewis shortly after the draft.
Smith is entering his third season with the Seahawks and started three games for Seattle last season. The veteran quarterback posted respectable numbers, throwing for five touchdowns and just one interception. In fact, his quarterback rating of 103.0 was identical to starting quarterback Russell Wilson’s 103.1 quarterback rating.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks appear to be high on Lock after acquiring him in the Wilson trade with the Denver Broncos. The 25-year-old quarterback has a decent amount of starting experience, having started 21 games during his three-year career. As Russini mentions, the Seahawks are “riding” Lock.
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Carroll: Seahawks ‘Happy’ at Quarterback
Head coach Pete Carroll remarked towards the conclusion of the draft on Saturday that the Seahawks are really “happy with the guys we’ve got” at quarterback.
“..You know we’re always competing,” Carroll told Rich Eisen. “That’s all we know how to do around here, I check out everything that’s possible. Right now, I’m really excited about seeing these guys for the first time and we’ll see what happens in the time to come. We’re always competing, we’re always looking.”
And while Carroll left the door open on the idea of looking for another quarterback, he did stress that it wouldn’t be anytime soon.
“Nothing’s going to change that quick,” he continued. “We’re really happy with the guys we’ve got, to see them battle and we’ll see what happens.
“You never know what’s going on down the road. We’re always looking.”
As much as it would make sense for the Seahawks to look into acquiring Mayfield to possibly contend, it appears Seattle is moving towards a rebuilding direction in 2022.