We probably shouldn’t view the lack of buzz surrounding Baker Mayfield as a total indictment on the fifth-year quarterback.
The hourglass for Mayfield’s Browns tenure effectively was tipped when the Browns traded for Deshaun Watson. But ever since that mid-March blockbuster trade, the NFL world hasn’t heard any chatter suggesting Cleveland has been close to moving Mayfield.
That might be because the 2018 No. 1 overall pick is on the books for a pretty hefty salary this season. But if the Browns eventually release Mayfield, or desperation for QB help around the league rises, we could see his market heat up.
“Now, here’s the deal: The Browns are willing to play some of Baker Mayfield’s $18.8 million guaranteed, but not all of it,” NFL insider Jeremy Fowler said Sunday on ESPN’s SportsCenter. “Teams are waiting that out, slow-playing it and they don’t really want to pay much of that money at all. I know some teams like Seattle, if he’s released, they would explore it, potentially get involved. Right now, this could drag out. I talked to one GM in the league who said, ‘They should hold onto him because quarterback situations around the league change. Maybe injuries happen.”
Seattle does seem like a logical landing spot for Mayfield. The Seahawks, to the surprise of many, didn’t select a quarterback during the draft, which was a little over a month after the organization moved Russell Wilson to Denver. Mayfield would be an upgrade over Geno Smith, Drew Lock and Jacob Eason.
Mayfield might prefer Seattle as well. If he doesn’t end up in the Pacific Northwest, he might have to settle for a backup job to start the 2022 campaign.