Baker Mayfield’s remains unknown as the end of May draws near, but one NFL analyst believes one team still makes “too much sense” to land the Browns quarterback: the Panthers.
In an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show, NFL Network’s Peter Schrager named Carolina as a possible partner to work out a trade with Cleveland for the former No. 1 pick. Though the Panthers are thought to be moving forward with Sam Darnold and newly-drafted rookie Matt Corral, Schrager thinks it’s possible that the franchise could change course before the start of the season.
“I think it’s Sam Darnold,” Schrager explained when asked who he thought the starting quarterback in Carolina would be this fall. “I wouldn’t close the door on Baker yet though. I think it’s Darnold’s for now and [Matt] Corral is No. 2. Carolina hasn’t expressed any interest [in Mayfield] but it just makes too much sense.”
Schrager also tossed out the Seahawks as a lingering option for Mayfield, but said that Seattle seemed content to go into 2022 with Drew Lock and Geno Smith as its top two quarterbacks.
A primary barrier for the Panthers to get involved in a trade for Mayfield would be the sizable salary for the 27-year-old in 2022. Schrager suggested that Cleveland would likely have to take on some or all of the $18.86 million that the former No. 1 pick is set to receive during the season to entice Carolina enough in a deal.
To complicate matters, Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer said that the team would not be in the market for a veteran quarterback after selecting Corral out of Ole Miss in the third round of the 2022 NFL draft.
Mayfield has requested a trade from the Browns and the franchise had already made other plans at the position, trading for Deshaun Watson and signing Jacoby Brissett. Unsurprisingly, Mayfield is skipping Cleveland’s voluntary OTAs, which began on Tuesday.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, no trade involving Mayfield is expected to get done until June. Even then, it remains unclear what team will step up to acquire the former No. 1 pick.
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