Still waiting for the Cleveland Browns to make a move on Baker Mayfield?
“I don’t get the sense that anything will happen with Baker Mayfield until June at the earliest.”
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) May 4, 2022
Why the Wait?
Rapoport’s reasoning was fairly straightforward.
It’s the time of year when teams are less focused on making key additions and instead want to evaluate the talent they have in the locker room.
With the draft wrapped up, teams are no longer bound by the calendar.
Rapoport likened Mayfield’s situation to San Francisco Forty-Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
Garoppolo, like Mayfield, has found few offseason suitors willing to take him dancing.
Granted, Garoppolo is coming off shoulder surgery that will keep him from throwing until June.
That doesn’t mean no deals are getting done.
Tyrann Mathieu, who spent the last few seasons in Kansas City, signed a homecoming deal with the New Orleans Saints.
But by and large, it’s going to probably be a quiet few weeks, not just for Mayfield, but for the entire league.
Mayfield is owed nearly $19 million dollars next season, a number the Browns are going to be on the hook for if they can’t find him a new home.
That despite handing Deshaun Watson a $230 million, fully guaranteed deal ($46 million/year).
The first year of that deal, 2022, was mostly a signing bonus, so his hit on the books isn’t quite as egregious.
Despite that, neither player is guaranteed to start next season.
Mayfield has made his intentions fairly clear, skipping voluntary workouts.
Watson is still facing 22 civil counts of sexual harassment and assault, and the league has yet to weigh in with its own punishment.
Adding confusion to the mix is the fact that the pool of teams potentially interested in Mayfield was already small pre-draft, and only shrank after the weekend.
The Carolina Panthers might have had some interest, but after drafting Ole Miss play caller Matt Corral, they seem to be out as well.
Likewise, the Steelers picked up Kenny Pickett to compete with Mitchell Trubisky.
Atlanta is looking at Marcus Mariotta or Desmond Ridder.
Malik Willis is providing the Tennessee Titans with additional options at quarterback.
Looking around the league, one is hard pressed to find a team really in need of a $19 million dollar backup.
And that’s the word we should be using right now to describe Mayfield.
He may not be a backup forever, in fact the chances he goes somewhere and takes over a starting role isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
But next season, Mayfield won’t be starting Week One.
Out of the teams that project to have the worst 2022 seasons at the QB position, the only one not mentioned already is the Houston Texans.
And if they wanted Mayfield, they probably could have had him.
One team to keep an eye on might be the New York Giants.
The Giants, unlike the rest of the teams listed, don’t have a huge competition at quarterback.
But they don’t have a ton of talent (or unknown talent) either.
Come summer, do the Giants get antsy and look at a move for Mayfield as one that, eh, can’t hurt?
But we’ll just have to wait and see.