The Cleveland Browns have been unable to trade quarterback Baker Mayfield for weeks, despite both sides wanting to move on.
The Browns want to trade Mayfield now that they have Deshaun Watson under contract. Mayfield wants out of Cleveland now that he won’t be the starting quarterback. So, what’s the catch?
Unfortunately for both parties, Mayfield is still under contract and owed quite a bit of money. The Browns don’t want to simply cut their former No. 1 overall pick and pay out the rest of his deal. At that point, they might as well keep him as a reliable backup. It’s also not worth paying some of his deal and shipping him elsewhere without getting the necessary compensation back in return.
Baker would be happy with a starting job pretty much anywhere.
With most QB-needy teams passing on quarterbacks in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, could Mayfield be moved sooner rather than later?
Browns: Why hasn’t Baker Mayfield been traded yet?
Mayfield remains a Brown for a few reasons mentioned above. Cleveland hasn’t found a team desperate enough to take on the rest of his contract, nor do they have any inclination of paying it themselves just to find a suitor. The longer the Browns wait, the more likely some QB-needy team will be forced to meet their asking price, especially due to injury concerns.
For a team like Carolina, Mayfield isn’t seen as a dramatic enough upgrade over the likes of Sam Darnold to warrant a high draft pick in return, especially at his contract price point.
That could complicate matters on Day 2 of the NFL Draft, but the likelihood of the Browns giving in to lesser offers goes up exponentially if Baker remains on the roster through the weekend.