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A “new team” has emerged to oppose a Baker Mayfield deal for the Seattle Seahawks for the Cleveland Browns.
The Seattle Seahawks have long been a potential trading destination for Cleveland Brown quarterback Baker Mayfield, but not so fast, my friend …
If it was not to be the Seahawks, then the next most likely team for Mayfield would have to be the Carolina Panthers. Outside of that duo, you would really grab the straws to find an ideal landing spot for the former No. 1 overall pick. It has never seemed likely to deal with him at the conference, but what if teams like the New Orleans Saints or Tampa Bay Buccaneers were interested in him?
Michael Balko reported Sunday morning, “The Seahawks and Browns are still in discussions about quarterback Baker Mayfield. A deal was close to being finalized, but a new team has reportedly also participated in the Mayfield sweepstakes. Stay tuned.”
How much validity is there in this, or does the Browns just form a “new team” to exploit?
Baker Mayfield trades rumors: “New team” shows up for Cleveland Brown’s QB
There are three primary issues in Mayfield that are being addressed: How much of his salary should the team acting for him take on? Does this team need to release a player or two to get below the salary cap to acquire him? And above all, how long will Deshaun Watson be suspended for? If Watson is not suspended for the entire season, then moving Mayfield makes it even more likely.
Mayfield is playing on its fifth year option in 2022 worth $ 18.5 million, which is fully guaranteed. He will be a free agent after this season, so this fall would essentially be a test drive for him to see if he is a potential long-term solution for his new team. Interestingly, Cleveland has the most cap space in the NFL at $ 41.2 million. Carolina was able to take on its entire salary with $ 24.3 million in space.
Admittedly, New Orleans and Tampa Bay are interesting potential landing sites for him. Mayfield is without a doubt better than Saints starter Jameis Winston, but New Orleans already has guys like Andy Dalton, Ian Book and the ultimate gadget guy in Taysom Hill on their list. As for the Buccaneers, this is probably Tom Brady’s last year. Mayfield is far better than Blaine Gabbert and Kyle Trask.
And if we want to have fun, what about the Detroit Lions? Cleveland could in theory replace Mayfield with Jared Goff just to get him out of the building. The problem is that Goff is under contract for the next three seasons and has a dead cap of $ 41.5 million for Detroit in 2022. Lions also cannot afford Mayfield at the moment as they do not even have $ 10 million in vacancy.
In the end, it feels like the Browns are doing their best to drive the price up the Seahawks so they can take on more of Mayfield’s guaranteed salary. But if Watson is suspended for the entire season, it will serve Cleveland and Mayfield to repair fences and stay together for the kids for a year more. Otherwise, it’s going to be The Jacoby Brissett Show for the ridiculous Browns franchise.
If the Browns replace Mayfield, it could indicate that Watson will not be suspended indefinitely.