Browns running back Nick Chubb sent a positive message to teammate Baker Mayfield amid speculation that the quarterback won’t be on Cleveland’s roster much longer.
Speaking to reporters this week, Chubb called Mayfield one of his “best friends” and explained why he believes the former No. 1 pick will be successful no matter where he ends up in the future.
“He’ll still always be one of my best friends. He’s a great guy,” Chubb said, per Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot and Hayden Grove. “I know with his intensity and his attitude, wherever he lands, he’ll be ready.”
The Browns and Mayfield have been teetering on a split for much of the offseason, after the team’s pursuit and acquisition of Deshaun Watson, but trade talks involving the quarterback have stalled out in recent weeks. Still, Mayfield wasn’t in attendance when Cleveland began its voluntary OTAs earlier this week.
The Panthers seemed to be the frontrunners to strike a deal with the Browns for Mayfield prior to the NFL draft. However, Carolina opted to select Ole Miss rookie quarterback Matt Corral in the third round, which seemingly took them out of the quarterback market.
A primary barrier for any team to get involved in a trade for Mayfield would be the sizable salary for the 27-year-old in 2022. Cleveland is due to pay the former No. 1 pick $18.86 million next season and still may have to take on some of that salary, even if a deal gets done and Mayfield is no longer on the roster.
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.