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Report: Cleveland Trades Former Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield

The Sooners' 2017 Heisman Trophy winner got his wish and was traded, but is Carolina the best fit for him?

Baker Mayfield’s future in the NFL has begun.

The former Oklahoma quarterback got his wish and is no longer with Cleveland, as Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Wednesday afternoon that the Browns have traded Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers.

The Browns get in return a 2024 fifth-round draft pick in exchange for the 27-year-old Mayfield.

It may not be the best situation for Mayfield to advance in his career. The Panthers have struggled under former Baylor coach Matt Rhule, and it’s been widely projected that Rhule won’t survive the 2022 season. Also, his offensive coordinator is former Giants head coach Ben McAdoo, who was fired in New York and then was fired as QB  coach in Jacksonville.

In Charlotte, Mayfield will now compete with former USC quarterback Sam Darnold, who was drafted by the New York Jets before being sent to the Panthers last year. The Panthers also drafted Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral this year.

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Mayfield is in the final year of his rookie contract. The Panthers accepted Cleveland’s offer to pay $10.5 million of Mayfield's 2022 salary, which amounts to $18 million. The Panthers will pay $5 million, and Mayfield reportedly agreed to trim some $3.5 million so he could take the deal.

Mayfield, the former No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner at OU, spent the first four years of his career with the Browns. The franchise that didn’t have a playoff victory — or a good quarterback — for a quarter century found itself just outside the postseason in Mayfield’s rookie year, and two years later he led them to the playoffs, where they went on the road and beat the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Mayfield suffered a shoulder injury last year on his non-throwing (left) shoulder, but the Browns moved on from the Mayfield era when a team insider apparently leaked that the franchise wanted “an adult” at quarterback.

The Browns then acquired Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who had 24 civil suits filed against him for sexual misconduct prior to his signing the largest guaranteed contract in NFL history with Cleveland.

In his four seasons with Cleveland, Mayfield threw for 14,125 yards and 92 touchdowns and 56 interceptions.

Another interesting twist: the Browns open the 2022 regular season at Carolina.