The Cleveland Browns are not entirely satisfied about moving forward with Baker Mayfield as their starting quarterback, and that has prompted them to explore trade scenarios for Houston Texans three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson. Additionally, they have fielded exploratory trade calls from other NFL teams about Mayfield, according to league sources not authorized to speak.
Cleveland Browns ‘open to the idea’ of trading Baker Mayfield
While it’s far from a lock that the Browns will ultimately move on from Mayfield, a former top overall pick and Heisman Trophy winner from Oklahoma, they are open to the idea, per sources, of potentially upgrading at the quarterback position.
The Browns are not expected to land Watson, per sources, who expect him to wind up with either the New Orleans Saints, the emerging leader for him, the Carolina Panthers, a strong contender intensely interested in Watson, or the Seattle Seahawks, who have done their homework on the star QB. Among the usual suspects that need a quarterback? The Indianapolis Colts, Saints, and Panthers.
What’s next for Mayfield?
As for Mayfield, he’s due an $18.858 million fully guaranteed salary in 2022. He played hurt last season, displaying grit as he battled shoulder injuries. There are viable scenarios where Mayfield could turn things around and get the long-term commitment he’s sought from the Browns.
Mayfield tore his labrum in his left, non-throwing shoulder in 2021. Cleveland finished 8-9 as he passed for 3,010 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions for an 83.1 passer rating. Furthermore, he was sacked a career-high 43 times.
“Baker’s a confident player,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said during the NFL Scouting Combine. “He’s done it. We’ve all seen him do it, so I don’t think he lacks for confidence. I think this is a great offseason for him to get healthy and then have an offseason together, get him in the building with the rest of the team and work together and try and get better. That’s kind of our focus.”
Meanwhile, the Browns have traded for wide receiver Amari Cooper and may or may not hold onto wide receiver Jarvis Landry, who has been given permission to seek a trade and has submitted a proposal for a restructured contract.