The Cleveland Browns conceded that their Baker Mayfield Experiment was over the second they acquired Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans.
Unfortunately, in the process, they also rid themselves of any leverage they might have in trade negotiations.
There are a number of teams who would be willing to take a shot on Mayfield, but not with the $18.9 million owed to him thanks to Cleveland picking up his fifth-year option.
Recently, an intriguing new team emerged as a potential trade partner for the Browns.
As noted by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the Detroit Lions make a lot of sense for Mayfield.
“First, there’s the fact that former Browns G.M. John Dorsey works for the Lions,” he wrote. “Second, there’s the fact that Mayfield’s attitude meshes completely with the kneecap-biting vibe that coach Dan Campbell is trying to instill in the organization.
“Third, there’s the fact that Jared Goff is, well, Jared Goff. Remember when Campbell recently said that the team can win without an elite quarterback? That sort of says it all.”
But what about the money owed to Mayfield? Will Detroit really step up and pay that?
During a recent appearance on The Rich Eisen Show, ESPN NFL insider Jeff Darlington tackled that topic head on.
“The Browns have to get out of their own way,” he argued. “They’re not going to keep him on the team. That’s a ridiculous notion that he could still be on the roster this season. I understand they owe him $19 million guaranteed no matter what. But if a team trades for him, they’re not paying that $19 million.
“The Browns have to pay for most of it and until their number comes down, they’re not going to make that move. They see no rush, no urgency since the draft is over but that’s still gotta be the next shoe to drop. To think that Baker is on your roster after all of this is just a ludicrous concept.”
Lost in all the conversations surrounding him is that Mayfield is actually a fairly gifted passer. Last season he recorded 17 touchdowns more than 3,000 yards in 14 games despite battling a pretty serious shoulder injury.
Is he Watson-level talented? No. Is he still solid, though? Absolutely.
There is a reason why at least one Super Bowl contender has interest in him.
Does Mayfield come with a fair number of red flags? Yes. His entanglement from a few months ago with a woman who isn’t his wife apparently leaking his personal DMs perfectly depicts the highs and lows that often come with him.
It will be interesting to see if the Lions ultimately decide to push a little harder for Mayfield. After all, it seems like Goff is more concerned with ogling his hot girlfriend than actually preparing for this coming season at this point.
Russell Wilson reacts to Ciara’s provocative photos. https://t.co/glyElbAbF4
— Game 7 (@game7__) May 16, 2022
Will Mayfield eventually end up in Detroit? Will he be able to make Cleveland rue the day that they went with Watson over him?
An answer will emerge at some point during the 2022-23 NFL season.