Sunday, May 8, 2022

Brown’s draft day trade proposal sends Mayfield to NFC for two picks

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Trade talks have emerged as an unlikely favorite for Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield with the NFL draft just a week away.

Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson reported on March 22 that it “mutual disinterest‘ between Mayfield and the Carolina Panthers to team up next season, although that appears to have changed in the month since. Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot reported April 16 that the Panthers have the “inside lead” to trade for Mayfield. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport was watching The Pat McAfee Show the day before he said the Panthers were “the most likely place” Mayfield could land.

With the likelihood of a deal increasing, NFL analysts have begun figuring out what a potential trade between Cleveland and Carolina, centered on Mayfield, could look like. Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox, in an article published Thursday, April 21, suggested that a fourth-round pick in this year’s draft (No. 137 overall) and a third-round pick in 2023 might be enough to close a deal.

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The Panthers may be the leaders in the clubhouse for Mayfield — which Rapoport said will trade before or during next Thursday’s NFL draft rather than after — but they’re not the only players in the game.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported Sunday, April 17 that the Seattle Seahawks also remain contenders for Mayfield, despite the recent signing of QB Geno Smith’s team for 2021 and the acquisition of QB Drew Lock via Russell Wilson’s trade with the Denver Broncos.

“The Carolina Panthers are involved here. I think after asking around that they’re ripped up in that building, not everyone there thinks Mayfield is the guy for Carolina in the long run. But he might end up being the best option available,” Fowler said. “Seattle still shows up here. They kind of moved on by re-signing Geno Smith. You have Drew Lock. They’re looking for a development quarterback in the draft. But if the price is low, or if Mayfield is released immediately, then they might step in.”

It won’t just be the Seahawks looking to pounce if the Browns ultimately decide to cut Mayfield, but also an AFC North Division rival.

NFL insider Jeff Darlington appeared on ESPN’s Get Up Wednesday morning show, where he reported that the Pittsburgh Steelers have a keen interest in signing Mayfield should he become available, although they are not among the contenders for a trade count for the quarterback.

“If for any reason – and I don’t expect that to happen – the Browns cut Baker Mayfield, I think he’ll sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers the very next day,” Darlington said. “Teams still covet Baker Mayfield. They just don’t think they have to give up as much as the Cleveland Browns are asking for right now.”



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