Seahawks trading for Baker Mayfield isn’t worth it in the long run

The Seattle Seahawks are looking for a quarterback. Outwardly, the Seahawks seem committed to: Drew Lock and Geno Smith… just for this season. It’s hard to believe that the Seahawks under John Schneider and Pete Carroll — who have always had an eye for quarterbacks — are actively planning beyond 2022 with either quarterback.

Smith is a well-known product at the moment, as is Lock. While there’s a chance a new setting could help rekindle some rookie season magic for Lock, he’s a reclamation project at best.

By choosing none of the quarterbacks draft Available in this year’s draft, Seattle is clearly playing the long game and looking to the future. It certainly looks like the team is looking to roll the dice with Lock of Smith this year, maybe take their chunks in 2022 if need be, and position themselves to acquire a quarterback from a much deeper 2023 draft class.

With this in mind, why would the Seahawks bother taking over Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. Make no mistake, despite the poor game in 2021 due to injuries, Mayfield is still a starting caliber quarterback† If he were to make his way to the Emerald City, he would certainly be considered the likely starter for the Seahawks.

Still, I wonder how Mayfield would fit into Seattle’s future plans? There is one season left on Mayfield’s current contract for nearly $19 million, fully guaranteed. The Browns have their position seemingly softened and willing to pay part of the contract to facilitate trade, but there’s no chance the Seahawks would give up future draft capital for a one-year lease at quarterback. It also seems unlikely that Mayfield would agree to such an arrangement, as he “bet on himself” last year in search of a new contract which ended disastrously for him.

So if the Seahawks take him over, a multi-year extension would come with it. Than what? Would the Seahawks see Mayfield as their franchise quarterback moving forward to build around? Or would they just take up valuable cap space in a quarterback they don’t see as the future while drafting a rookie the following year?

Mayfield may be a starter in the NFL, but he has shown that he is not the transformative talent you would expect from a No. 1 overall roster. Should Mayfield be on the team and Seattle manage to create a tantalizing rookie, the Seahawks may very well be back where they started: uncertainty at the most important position of the game.

I’m on the record stating I think the Seahawks can still make the playoffs in 2022, and I’ll stick to that. Adding Mayfield would bolster this prediction. But for the long term, I think Seattle would be better suited to stay out of these sweepstakes.

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