Back in March, did anyone truly expect the stalemate to last this long?
But as the predraft process came and went, then the flurry of offseason trades and moves, then draft weekend breezed by, Mayfield’s market grew smaller and smaller.
And for most of this process, the question has been “which trade makes sense for Cleveland.”
Rightfully so, considering that Cleveland could simply keep Mayfield and his $18 million salary.
But what about Mayfield?
Should he get no say in the matter?
Let’s look at which destinations make the most sense from the former Heisman winner’s point of view.
First Thing’s First
If Mayfield truly had his pick, the answer would probably be a team ready to win the Super Bowl now.
Think Buffalo, Kansas City, maybe Denver, the Los Angeles Rams, and so on.
This makes sense, considering these teams are stacked with talent.
But a destination can only “make sense” for Mayfield if it’s actually feasible.
And Kansas City isn’t benching Patrick Mahomes any time soon.
With that out of the way, let’s dive in.
Forget, for a moment, that the Seahawks have the league’s worst offensive line heading into 2022, according to PFF.
Forget that head coach Pete Carroll isn’t getting any younger as the Seahawks head towards a rebuild.
I really wonder where Baker Mayfield will be taking his next snap. This whole situation has been weird.
— Mack Perry (@DevaronPerry) July 5, 2022
If it’s playing time that Mayfield wants, he’ll get it in droves with Seattle.
Mayfield would instantly be the best quarterback on the roster.
And we know Mayfield has a history of playing with strong receiving pairs, which would continue in Seattle.
Those are two talented NFL vets who could make any quarterback look good.
Except for Lock and Smith, probably.
The only snag?
Apparently, the smoke surrounding a Mayfield-Seahawks deal might have been just that: smoke.
Is Tua Tagovailoa the guy in Miami?
Two seasons in and the jury is still out on the former Alabama signal caller.
He’s thrown 27 touchdowns against 11 interceptions since coming into the league in 2020.
And if Mayfield could have his say, he’d surely trade the cold Cleveland winter for the sunny Miami summer.
The phrase “only a quarterback away” gets thrown around a lot, but in Miami’s case, it might actually be true.
The Dolphins traded for Kansas City star Tyreek Hill and added extra protection along the offensive line.
And while the Dolphins are in a tough AFC East, they are more than capable of holding their own.
The team has weapons, it has protections, two things a quarterback loves.
Throw in legitimate expectations, and Miami would certainly sit atop Mayfield’s wishlist.
Wild Card Round: Pittsburgh Steelers
This one has more to do with Mayfield’s character more than anything else.
Since he came into the league in 2018, has any player more embodied the “chip on my shoulder” attitude more than Baker Mayfield?
Most passing TD by a rookie in NFL history:
1. Justin Herbert (2020)- 31
2. Baker Mayfield (2018)- 27
3. Russell Wilson (2012)- 26
4. Peyton Manning (1998)- 26
5. Daniel Jones (2019)- 24 pic.twitter.com/QRWsJPA2NE
— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) June 27, 2022
It’s a tad strange, considering Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy and was drafted first overall, meaning he doesn’t need to exact vengeance on all the teams that passed on him.
And is there any coach in the league who values players with Mayfield’s attitude more than Mike Tomlin?
It would be a combustible duo, but one that just might work.
The Steelers are a long way from competing and they brought in QBs Mitchell Trubisky in free agency and Kenny Pickett in the draft.
But if anything, the chip on Mayfield’s shoulder has probably turned into a Biltmore-sized mansion.
Having the chance to unload against his former team twice a year and play under a coach who would give him every opportunity to do so would be undoubtedly tempting.