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Baker Mayfield looks to leave the Cleveland Browns

Commentary editor Logan Guthrie discusses the quarterback’s next moves

Since the news of the falling out between Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield and his team, rumors have been circulating about where he will go in the NFL. Some seem to be speculating that one team in particular would be very keen to get him.

On ESPN’s “Get Up”, sports reporter Jeff Darlington stated that the Pittsburgh Steelers would sign Mayfield “the very next day” if the Browns cut him. This is not the first of such rumors that have surfaced, as back in March The Plain Dealer/’s reporter Mary Kay Cabot also said that the Steelers would “pounce” at the opportunity to take Mayfield for themselves.

Mayfield began seeking to be moved from the Browns soon after he felt “disrespected” by the team’s choice to trade and sign Deshaun Watson. According to Mayfield, there was no open communication between the team and himself about the decision and that was the source of the disrespect that he felt.

Watson received a contract from the Browns for five years and 230 million dollars. However, this does come with some caveats for Watson due to his current legal situation.

Watson is currently facing 22 different active lawsuits, along with 10 criminal complaints that two grand juries from Texas chose to not charge him with that are related to acts of sexual misconduct and assault towards multiple massage therapists. According to his deal with Cleveland, for each game that he is suspended from the NFL in 2022 because he is serving for these lawsuits, he will lose only $55,556 from his contract.

But why would the Browns choose all this legal baggage over keeping their current quarterback? A major factor in this decision was clearly that Mayfield is coming off a very rough 2021-22 season.

Mayfield missed three of the games this last season due to injuries, and unfortunately he did not live up to expectations the rest of the season as well. He threw a total of 3,010 yards, as well as 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions this past year. Furthermore he averaged 7.2 yards per attempt. This tied with the worst mark of Mayfield’s career. Additionally, his sack rate was 9.3%. This was by far Mayfield’s worst season in his NFL career, prompting the trade by the Browns for Watson.

Despite what some reports are saying, it really doesn’t seem too clear cut as to where Mayfield will actually end up next year, and no team seems to be jumping at the opportunity to sign him, given the past season’s record.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport has his own opinions on what the future looks like for the quarterback:
“If the Cleveland Browns are going to trade Baker Mayfield before the draft, which is possible, the Carolina Panthers seem like the most likely spot … Baker Mayfield said on a podcast that he thinks his most likely spot is Seattle. I think his most likely spot if he is going to get traded before the draft is the Carolina Panthers. What Carolina is doing right now is evaluating all the options.”

Nothing is certain at the current moment if the Browns will give Mayfield up, and as it currently stands no one knows for sure where he’ll be traded. This next season could turn out to be a gamechanger for the quarterback.

Post Author: Logan Guthrie