Did anyone expect this saga to last into the dead of summer when the Browns traded for Deshaun Watson back in March?
Since then, Mayfield has been something of a lost puppy, hoping some franchise will spend a little dough to bring him in.
Up until now, the doors have been slammed shut.
But (and stop me if you’ve heard this before), there appears to be some traction on the Mayfield trade front.
This time, it’s Seattle that’s kicking up some dust.
What exactly could the Browns get in a Mayfield-Seahawks trade?
The Seahawks are a natural trade partner for Mayfield.
Earlier in the offseason, Seattle pulled off a trade of its own.
Longtime quarterback and Seattle legend Russell Wilson joined the Denver Broncos in a move that netted the Seahawks a slew of early-round draft capital.
Included in the deal was Denver quarterback Drew Lock.
But don’t be fooled — Lock isn’t the long-term answer in Seattle after flaming out in Denver.
So let’s be clear about two things.
First, the Browns are not getting a Wilson-esque package back for Mayfield.
Second, D.K. Metcalf is not coming to Cleveland.
Because that’s simply not Mayfield’s value at this point.
It’s the same discussion revolving around Robby Anderson and the Panthers.
Why would the Panthers trade one of their top offensive weapons to the Browns for a player that no one else in the league wants?
No, the best that the Browns can get back are picks.
And not early picks, either.
Mayfield might have gone no. 1 overall back in 2018, but his value simply isn’t there.
— Michael Balko (@MichaelBalkoJr) June 26, 2022
This naturally begs the question: when was Mayfield’s value the highest?
The answer should be obvious: Mayfield’s value was highest the moment before the Deshaun Watson trade.
The moment after news broke that Houston send Watson to Cleveland, Mayfield’s value cratered.
Teams knew Mayfield’s time in Cleveland was over and whatever leverage the club had dropped significantly.
Currently, the Seahawks own two fifth-round picks and sixth in next year’s draft.
Could the Browns pry one of those fifths and the sixth away?
We know one of the biggest sticking points in Cleveland’s negotiations with Carolina was cash.
More specifically, how much of Mayfield’s salary the Panthers would pay.
Eventually, the Browns agreed to pay up to $10 million.
The Seahawks have only $16.7 million in cap available this season, so will also need the Browns to eat part of Mayfield’s $18 million salary.
Baker Mayfield to Seattle 👀
The former first-round draft pick quarterback is still very much of growing interest to the Seahawks. pic.twitter.com/VGBNKUFjTJ
— 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐍𝐞𝐰𝐬 (@sportingnews) June 22, 2022
Since the league now knows the Browns are willing to pay up to $10 million, do the Seahawks try to go higher?
And maybe with any incremental addition in contract contribution, the Seahawks agree to throw in an additional pick or practice squad player.
At this point, whatever the Browns can get for Mayfield, they should without hesitating.
Just don’t expect it to be much.
The biggest return the Browns could get in a Mayfield trade is simply the end of the Mayfield headache.
And that’s no small return.