NFL insider Albert Breer has reported that the Cleveland Browns are willing to take on around a half of Baker Mayfield's salary for the 2022 season. The Browns have been trying to trade Mayfield for months but his guaranteed salary of $18 million for 2022 is the problem as no team wants to take on that salary.
Mayfield led the Browns to a playoff appearance in 2020 but had a down year last season and the Browns decided to move on from him this offseason. At the start off ree agency, the Browns traded for Deshaun Watson and it marked the end of the Mayfield era in Cleveland.
The Panthers are of the teams that has been frequently mentioned as a landing spot for Mayfield. “Cleveland’s been willing to take on a fair amount of Baker’s salary, like $9, $10 million,” Breer said on The Rich Eisen Show, via Sports Illustrated.
“For people out there who think that Cleveland’s holding on to Baker as Deshaun insurance, they wouldn’t be offering to take on a pretty significant portion of the guy’s salary if they were looking to hold him until there’s more clarity in the Deshaun Watson case”.
Breer: The Panthers could trade for Mayfield if they receive a favorable deal
“If there was a good deal out for Baker Mayfield for the Panthers, he might already be a Panther,” Breer added. “If they were in a position where they only had to pay him $4 or $5 million, then I think there is a decent chance that Baker Mayfield would be in Carolina now and Cleveland would have a draft pick for him”.
The Browns gave Watson a five-year, $230 million contract but there is a good chance he gets suspended for the entire 2022 season. The NFL is still investigation the harassment allegations made against Watson and the Browns could find themselves in a big problem.
Still, many believe that Mayfield's days in Cleveland are over and that the outcome of the Watson investigation won't impact the Browns' thinking. "People come and go, and this is one of those changes," Browns defensive end Myles Garrett said of Mayfield.
"I hope the best for him. I hope he moves on and he does well for himself. He's played well when he's healthy. When he's healthy, he can do some pretty good things for a team. Just has to find his niche again. I think he has to prove himself, has to get healthy."