Wednesday Mayfield Baker the trade came after months of trading. It appears the ramping up of the Browns-Panthers talks in mid-June led to an agreement fairly soon after, but the ball fell into the quarterback’s court. Mayfield agreeing to take a $3.5 million pay cut satisfied the Panthers.
The teams had that deal in place for nearly a month, according to CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones and former Browns general manager Michael Lombardi (Twitter connections). By offering Mayfield the slight pay cut, the Panthers underscored the former No. 1 overall pick’s potential to make up the difference by increasing his value to the free agent market in 2023, Jones adds. Mayfield, who was attached to an $18.9 million salary, may also recoup the money through incentives in 2022. Mayfield follows Odell Beckham Jr. sacrificing money to facilitate a Browns exit.
Despite the interest in this interconference trade, ESPN.com’s David Newton adds that the deal will still precede a Mayfield-Darnold competition. Mayfield will be favored to win a training camp contest against the holder Sam Darnold, who was picked two picks after him in the 2018 draft. As for the conditional draft pick the Browns will receive, Mayfield’s former team will have to put down roots for him to beat Darnold. Pick will advance to fourth round in 2024 if Mayfield plays at least 70% of Panthers snaps, The Athletic’s Joe Person tweet. Otherwise, it will become a fifth.
Whoever wins this battle will take the reins of a Panthers team that could feature a much better offensive line – one that added left tackle Ikem Ekwonucenter Bradley Bozeman and keep Austin Corbettthat the Browns chose a round after Mayfield in 2018 – compared to his 2021 version and a receiving body of DJ Moore, Robbie Anderson and 2021 second-round pick Marshall Jr Terrace The prospect of good health Christian McCaffrey has been making fun of the Panthers and their fans for two years now, but the former All-Pro running back is also returning to his place. Mayfield appears to be planning to round up talented Panthers players for pre-camp training, Newton tweet.
At the draft, the Browns weren’t willing to pay much more than Mayfield’s $3 million salary. They ended up going to $10.5 million. Panthers didn’t want to shell out more than $5 million for Mayfield, SI.com’s Albert Breer tweet, leading to the demand for a pay cut. But the Panthers managed to add a former No. 1 pick, resisting the temptation to land one of this year’s QB prospects with the No. 6 pick — who became Ekwonu.
While Mayfield’s pay cut and the Panthers agreeing to cover some of the costs save the Browns more than $8 million in cap space, it could still mark a massive descent for the quarterback job- Cleveland fullback – for at least 2022. The Browns moved from a 2022 reality of deploying a healthier Mayfield to the trot Deshaun Watson — after a short suspension — to face the prospect of Jacoby Brisset being required for a full season of QB1 work. The Browns hadn’t anticipated a season-long suspension of Watson — which has become the NFL’s favorite ban — when they traded for him, and neither they nor Mayfield seemed to be making any progress in mending the relationship.
As stated earlier, a Jimmy Garoppolo trade was not on the line for the Panthers. They had expressed reservations about the 49ers QB’s injuries and, based on extensive haggling over Mayfield’s contract, were not taking Garoppolo’s $24.2 million salary. Carolina considered Mayfield an upper-floor option to Garoppolo, according to Yahoo.com’s Charles Robinson (on Twitter). Wednesday’s trade cost Garoppolo, who has suffered more injuries than Mayfield in the past four seasons, a prime landing spot. The 49ers may now have to wait for an injury in training camp to offload Garoppolo in a trade. Some NFL evaluators expected San Francisco to simply release Garoppolo, whose base salary becomes guaranteed in Week 1.
Seattle would make sense as a Garoppolo destination, but Pacific Northwest chatter continues to focus on the Drew Lock–Geno Smith competition. The Seahawks had “lukewarm interest” in acquiring Mayfield, notes Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Although the Browns going from Mayfield to Brissett represents a downgrade, the Seahawks going from Russell Wilson to Lock or Smith would surpass that. The Broncos giving up their 2023 first- and second-round picks gives the Seahawks options next year — which should be a better quarterback draft — but the team looks set to hand over the old job of Wilson has a heavily guarded passer.