It is day 24548219 of Baker Watch.
Not really, but it probably feels like it.
Though, in all fairness, the clock’s probably been running for much longer.
But we’re now t-minus 30 hours until Roger Goodell struts out onto the stage in Las Vegas to announce Jacksonville’s first pick.
Are the Browns running out of time to make this happen?
Why It’s Taking So Long
You might think that this year, of all years, a team would jump at the chance to trade for a former Heisman winner who led a team to a playoff berth.
Plus, it’s not like the draft is loaded with QB talent.
So what’s taking so long for a deal to get done?
Mayfield might be struggling through a bit of Jimmy Garoppolo-itis.
Both QBs could have expected decent-sized markets this offseason.
But both the Niners QB and Mayfield are coming off injuries that NFL teams are apparently scared off from.
Mayfield played through a rough shoulder injury, poorly.
Garoppolo’s injury is no small deal, either.
Had Mayfield been healthy, there’s little doubt he would either a) still be the Browns starter or b) have been traded already.
The same might be true had he simply shut down after the injury and worked to recover.
It’s admirable that Mayfield played through the injury.
But it could be costing him (and the Browns) big time.
What Are The Options?
At this rate, the best outcome is probably for non-Browns teams to stand pat until after the draft.
The #Panthers are not expected to trade for #Browns QB Baker Mayfield prior to the first round of the NFL Draft, sources say, if they do it at all. Thursday has to play out first, before any other options are considered. Carolina picks No. 6.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 25, 2022
Especially since no one can get a real read on where the QBs this year will be drafted.
If one of Carolina, Seattle, Washington, or Detroit don’t land the QB they want (or don’t feel comfortable with their QB room), perhaps then they’ll start realistically exploring a move for Mayfield.
It’s also entirely possible the Browns are in no rush to sell cheap.
That would make sense, as they spent a first overall pick on Mayfield back in 2018.
As it stands, no one likely benefits from pulling the trigger right now.
Maybe the Browns could have put a deal in place before the Watson trade, but not much was substantially different then versus now.
The 2022 QB carousel, one of the wildest in years, had already come to a halt.
By the time Watson came to Cleveland, teams that were still seeking a QB probably already gearing up for the draft.
It’s a tough situation for everyone, especially Mayfield, who has shown an ability to compete.
Regardless, fans will likely look back on Mayfield’s tenure as a Tale of Two Eras.
It was the best of throws…it was the worst of throws…