The Cleveland Browns reportedly have had trade talks with the Carolina Panthers regarding Baker Mayfield. The trade talks haven’t made it very far and it is being reported that the primary hurdle is Baker Mayfield’s salary. Mayfield is still on the Browns’ roster following the acquisition of new QB Deshaun Watson and he has $18.9 million in guarantees for 2022.
Baker Mayfield’s salary was a deal-breaker for Carolina.
Trade talks occurred about four weeks ago but didn’t come to fruition. The Panthers ultimately looked to the NFL Draft to acquire a QB.
According to Jonathan M. Alexander (The Charlotte Observer), the Panthers asked the Browns to pay all but $5-6 million of Baker’s salary as part of the trade agreement. The Browns may be inclined to pay a portion of Mayfield’s salary in order to trade him, however, they couldn’t get on board with forking out $13-14 million. What remains unknown about the trade talks with Carolina is the compensation for Mayfield which also could’ve factored into the stalled negotiations.
The Browns owe Baker Mayfield $18.9 million regardless of whether they keep or release him. This has certainly influenced their motivation to keep him on the roster and will continue to be a hurdle in trade talks. Ultimately, the Browns will have to choose to assume all or part of his salary.
Do the Browns need to keep Baker Mayfield?
With the uncertainty around Deshaun Watson’s availability for the upcoming season, some think the Browns need Mayfield on the roster. While the national sports media consistently suggests that Mayfield could suit up once again for the Browns during a Deshaun Watson suspension, the local and regional media understands that this is extremely unlikely.
Once the Browns and the rest of the NFL have more clarity on a likely Watson suspension, trade talks may heat up once again. The consensus for the most likely trade destinations for Baker Mayfield is Seattle and Carolina.
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