Another day, another Baker Mayfield story.
Another day, another bleak Baker Mayfield story.
This time, news regarding the (former?) Cleveland Browns’ signal-caller came from NFL insider Josina Anderson.
According to Anderson, teams have had talks about Mayfield, but “cooled” because of the apparent trade cost:
I spoke to a source from a team that expressed interest in Baker Mayfield, had talks, but they cooled not wanting to pay asking price feeling he has to be cut. Their follow-up comment tonight: “no one’s trying to do the #Browns any favors in this situation.” #ThisIsRidiculous
— IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) May 6, 2022
That’s not comforting news for Browns fans, or the front office for that matter.
Let’s read the tweet-leaves a little closer here.
Price Too High?
For starters, Anderson’s info does a little more than suggest that the Browns are still asking for way too much in trade negotiations.
Not only is it too much, but it seems so astronomically high that teams don’t appear to view extensive negotiations as worthwhile.
What’s Mayfield’s value right now?
It’s a puzzling question.
At one point, in the thick of the offseason quarterback carousel, the Browns might have been able to net a low second or third-rounder for Mayfield.
Given how quick QBs flew off the shelves, it’s possible a team that immediately missed out on the Aaron Rodgers/Russell Wilson/Tom Brady/Matt Ryan/Jameis Winston sweepstakes could have talked themselves into Mayfield.
But that time came and went, with no major news.
At that point, could Mayfield have been had for a late-round pick?
Maybe one of the Steelers, Falcons, Giants, Texans, Lions, Titans, Panthers, Seahawks, or Commanders could have made for a potential suitor.
Each was projected to be in the market for a quarterback in an unusually light draft year.
But draft weekend also came and went; nary a peep heard.
In the meantime, the Steelers took Kenny Pickett, the Titans secured Malik Willis, the Panthers drafted Matt Corral, and the Falcons nabbed Desmond Ridder.
The point is, the field was once potentially limitless for a Mayfield move.
Now, the music has stopped and Mayfield (and San Francisco Niners QB Jimmy Garoppolo) is left chairless.
And according to Anderson, league sentiment is that Mayfield will just…be…cut.
That’s an incredible turn and one that, frankly, is unacceptable.
If the front office knew Mayfield wasn’t the QB of the future, why not have a deal in place when it traded for Deshaun Watson?
Was the front office so arrogant that it thought a team would be so desperate as to come calling for Mayfield?
News flash, the Jets and Jaguars (two perennial “so desperate” teams) are pretty set at the moment.
Baker Mayfield is about to have a career they make 30 for 30s about. Drew Brees type of career. 👀
— Blaze Hogan (@BlazeHogan) April 29, 2022
And if the asking price hasn’t come down, it’s an indictment against the front office.
But it also suggests (potentially) some insecurity about the team’s future draft stock.
If the Browns are seeking strong compensation for Mayfield, it’s because the team exchanged a bevy of future picks in the deal that brought Deshaun Watson to Cleveland.
If Mayfield is cut, the Mayfield saga doesn’t just end, either.
The Browns will still be on the hook for his nearly $18 million.
That’s money that could have been used to bolster the lineup while Watson is still cheap.
Instead, it could go to a player who won’t ever don the orange and brown again.