Two teams have been linked to Brown’s quarterback for weeks Baker Mayfield — the Panthers and the Seahawks. With all teams in position to study film from off-season practice and with many teams that may not have clear answers to position, which teams should at least consider the possibility of a potential upgrade from their current projected starter to Mayfield ?
This weekend with not much news, now is a good time to try and identify the universe of teams that should at least be thinking of Mayfield. Here they are, in no particular order.
If Judge Sue L. Robinson decides that… Deshaun Watson should miss the entire season, or if the appeals commissioner makes that ruling, the Browns will need a quarterback for all of 2022. Mayfield makes the most sense on paper. Unfortunately, the bridge between Baker and the Browns has been swept away. The only way to fix fences would be if the Browns offered him more money and an unobstructed path to the open market in 2023. Even then it probably isn’t enough.
When the Steelers made quarterback Kenny Pickett the 20th overall pick in the draft, the door seemed to slam shut on the possibility that Mayfield would make a straight line to the ‘Burgh if he is eventually cut by the Browns. But since Pickett is apparently not ready to play yet, isn’t Mayfield (if healthy) a better option than Mitch Trubisky? Mayfield certainly is. And while that would be an intriguing answer for 2022, it could mess up plans for 2023, if the Steelers have a great year with Mayfield. Some would call that a good problem.
They are reportedly still negotiating with the Browns about the amount of money the two teams would pay for Mayfield’s guaranteed salary of $18.8 million in 2022. At some point, the blockade has to be broken. If the Panthers wait too long, one of these other teams can grab him.
Baker Mayfield is a better option then? Marcus Mariota† Maybe the Falcons will come to terms with that in the slow weeks. Perhaps they’ll realize it won’t get any easier to get people to buy tickets and attend games without a quarterback playing well enough to make an NFC South a potential competitor as well.
Despite periodic reports of considerable importance, they have done nothing to show it clearly and convincingly. Maybe they just play the cards close to the vest in the hopes that it will eventually be released. Anyway, the Seahawks do a good job of selling the idea they’re comfortable with Geno Smith or that new darling of the US Open† Drew Lock†
They were one of the teams chasing Deshaun Watson. That necessarily makes them a potential contender for Mayfield, despite the presence of James Winston† Perhaps the Saints sincerely believe that Winston when he is well is better than Mayfield when he is well. Reasonable minds would certainly disagree on that point.
Those familiar with this particular web destination may remember trying to type it into existence. Mayfield is better than Jared Goff† Period of time. And Mayfield is a much better fit for the current atmosphere that coach Dan Campbell is trying to create than the California kid who ended up in what must feel like Bizarro Oz to him.
The new power structure did not pick up the option for the fifth year Daniel Jones† While they refuse to explain it this way, they’re actually betting that he won’t be good enough to let them apply the much more expensive franchise tag in 2023. Isn’t Mayfield better and more capable than Jones? Yes and yes. If the Giants aren’t sold that Jones will be the man for 2023, why not grab Mayfield now and see if he can become the future for a team still trying to adequately replace Eli Manning?
They claim to be all in with Davis Mills† And, to be fair to Mills, he may be working towards a fairly high ceiling. But if the goal is to win now, Mayfield is the better option. And while they could have had him as part of the Watson trade, the Browns probably would have placed too much value on Mayfield at the time. As part of a separate transaction, the Texans could potentially get it for a lot less.
Can the best bridge to the? Trey Lance era not Jimmy G. but Baker Mayfield be? Could be. But they’ll be much better off if they let Lance begin the process of becoming the best version of himself he will eventually be.
I know I said I would list the teams in no particular order, but I saved this one for last. TuAnon won’t like this. But let’s be honest. Mayfield, if he’s healthy, can do a lot more than Tua ever did. And with Mike McDaniel directing the plays, Mayfield could be just what the dolphins need to reach their full potential in 2022 and beyond. If they can get it cheap they should definitely consider it. Even if they don’t.
That’s the full list. It probably means he will end up with a team that didn’t make the cut. Anyway, when he’s healthy, Mayfield has the ability to be very good. He could be the difference between making the playoffs and not qualifying. He could be the difference between one-and-done and winning one or two playoffs. Don’t let a 2021 season be marred by a nasty shoulder injury in week two that cloud reality.
Which teams should think about making a run at Baker Mayfield? originally appeared on Pro Football Talk