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Editor’s note: This story contains accounts of sexual assault. If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault and is seeking help, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or at https://www.rainn.org

More than two months have passed since the Browns traded for former Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson and signed him to a five-year contract worth a guaranteed $230 million.

The Browns’ move signaled that the franchise wanted to move in a different direction from Mayfield. 

As days have passed for Mayfield, who felt disrespected by the Browns and claimed that Cleveland lied to him about trading for Watson, the quarterback still remains on the roster due to not finding an adequate trade partner and Cleveland not wanting to absorb enough of his $18.858 million salary.

However, according to The Athletic, two teams—the Panthers and the Seahawks—are still in the hunt for Mayfield’s talent. However, both Carolina and Seattle would need Cleveland to take on a larger amount of Mayfield’s contract than what the Browns have been previously offering.

However, Cleveland does not have leverage to negotiate regarding Mayfield’s contract, which is a positive for both the Panthers and the Seahawks. Per The Athletic, Mayfield at minimum would make $1.035 million as a fifth-year player in the league, meaning Cleveland would have to absorb more than $17 million in a potential trade. While Carolina and Seattle hope that Cleveland would so, it is not guaranteed that the franchise will currently.

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If a trade is not done over the summer before the 2022 season starts, it is possible that Mayfield could remain in Cleveland because Watson could potentially face a lengthy suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

Watson still faces 22 active civil lawsuits regarding sexual harassment and assault during massage therapy sessions. The lawsuits list numerous statements that range from Watson refusing to cover his genitals to “touching [a plaintiff] with his penis and trying to force her to perform oral sex on him.”

He denied all of the allegations against him, and two grand juries in Texas refused to indict him on criminal charges. 

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