Browns (Finally) Trade Baker Mayfield To Panthers Amid Wild NFL Offseason

Cleveland acquired QB Deshaun Watson back in March

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The Cleveland Browns selected Baker Mayfield with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Four years later, the sides are parting ways.

The Carolina Panthers announced Wednesday they’ve agreed to acquire Mayfield from the Browns in exchange for a conditional fifth-round draft pick in 2024.

NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo reported Wednesday, citing sources, the pick could convert to a fourth-rounder based on playing time.

According to Garafolo, the Browns will pay Mayfield $10.5 million this season, trimming over $8 million in cash and salary-cap space, while the Panthers will pay the quarterback about $5 million.

Mayfield reportedly agreed to cut about $3.5 million from his base salary but will have an opportunity to earn back that money via incentives.

The trade, which is pending a physical, comes three and a half months after the Browns acquired star quarterback Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans and handed him a massive guaranteed contract. Watson’s future remains unclear after a disciplinary hearing with the NFL, though, so Cleveland theoretically could start the 2022 season with Jacoby Brissett under center.

Mayfield, meanwhile, joins a QB depth chart that includes Sam Darnold, PJ Walker and rookie Matt Corral. The Panthers acquired Darnold from the New York Jets last offseason, but it now appears there could be an open quarterback competition in Carolina.

The NFL offseason has been full of twists and turns, most notably at the quarterback position, where several high-profile signal-callers have changed teams in recent months. We now can add Mayfield to the list after plenty of speculation and debate as to where the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner would land.

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