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    Sources: Panthers draft Matt Corral after trade discussions about Baker Mayfield hit impasse, ‘happy with the group we have’

    The Carolina Panthers hit a serious impasse in their trade discussions with the Cleveland Browns regarding quarterback Baker Mayfield.

    The Carolina Panthers hit a serious impasse in their trade discussions with the Cleveland Browns regarding quarterback Baker Mayfield.

    Panthers move into third round to select Matt Corral

    The Panthers traded into the third round, sending a fourth-round pick and a 2023 third-round selection to the New England Patriots to draft Mississippi quarterback Matt Corral after holding trade talks with the Browns with no compromise able to be reached.

    Sources had cautioned on the condition of anonymity citing the sensitive nature of the talks that no deal is imminent and that the entire deal hinged on whether a financial compromise could be reached. One source expressed frustration that no deal could be worked out and expressed an opinion that this is a closed issue between the two franchises.

    Late Friday night, Browns general manager Andrew Berry said in a press conference that he will feel fine if Mayfield remains on the roster through the weekend.

    “We’ll deal with that situation as it progresses,” Berry said.

    And Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer struck a tone of having moved on from the Mayfield scenario, saying during a press conference Carolina is “happy with the group we have.”

    Sam Darnold is the current starter.

    “I never put an absolute on anything,” Fitterer said during a press conference after drafting Corral, who passed for 57 touchdowns and 23 interceptions for his career, including 20 touchdown passes and five interceptions last season with 614 rushing yards. “We came into this weekend with the intention of getting a quarterback, and that’s what we did. And we’re going to go with this group.”

    “I believe in drafting and developing new guys. We needed a young guy that we’re going to have to develop for the future of this team.”

    Mayfield is due $18.858 million this year under his fifth-year club option. The Panthers wanted the Browns to pay a large portion of that salary to work out a trade. If that financial gap couldn’t be bridged, then no deal. Especially because, as one source emphasized, the Panthers are already paying quarterback Sam Darnold $18.858 million.

    “There’s no way the Panthers are going to pay both of those guys that much money,” a league source said before Corral was drafted. “If the Browns don’t play ball on the money, this isn’t going to happen. At least not right away.”

    Standing trade request from Baker Mayfield

    A former top overall pick, Mayfield has requested a trade. But the Browns aren’t going to just give him away. The Browns have already moved on, trading for three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson and signing him to a $230 million fully guaranteed contract.

    Mayfield isn’t attending the Browns’ voluntary offseason workout program. He’s training in Austin, Texas, to rehabilitate from offseason shoulder surgery and the obvious awkwardness that would likely ensue because of his standing trade request.

    The Seattle Seahawks are another team that has had interest in Mayfield this offseason, but, at what level, it’s unclear.

    ‘Unique situation’ in Cleveland

    Browns coach Kevin Stefanski and Mayfield have addressed rumors with the media

    “I think it’s a unique situation,”  Stefanski said at the NFL owners’ meetings. “We need to see how it plays out. All of us would love an answer, yes or no, that’s not the reality.”

    Mayfield has passed for 14,125 career yards and 92 touchdowns but is coming off a difficult season.

    “I think we’ll see,” Stefanski said. “I think everybody understands the situation, and we’re hoping there’s closure to it at some point.”

    Mayfield had previously discussed the situation on a podcast, noting that he thought he was going to the Indianapolis Colts before they traded for quarterback Matt Ryan. He’s also said the Seahawks are on his radar.

    “I have no regrets of my time in Cleveland, of what I tried to give to that place,” Mayfield said. “The respect thing is all going to be a personal opinion. I feel disrespected, 100%. I was told one thing, and they completely did another.

    “That’s what I’m in the middle of right now. And you know what, I got my taste of it because I’ve had four different head coaches in four years. 2021 was miserable — bunch of different coordinators. I’m just looking for stabilization right now.”

    Panthers moving forward

    Corral has time to learn behind Darnold.

    “We’re going to bring him along slow,” Panthers coach Matt Rhule said. “We’re going to train him from the ground up. He’s got a lot to learn. He’s got a lot to do.

    “Being an NFL quarterback is something I’ve wanted to do since I was 6 years old,” Corral said. “I’m at a loss for words. I couldn’t be more excited to get back to work and actually play the game of football again.

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