Baker Mayfield May Have a Difficult Time Finding a New NFL Home

The Cleveland Browns acquiring Deshaun Watson officially marks the end of the Baker Mayfield era. However, Mayfield remains on the roster without a clear path in the trade market toward finding a new NFL home.

He will get his wish to reignite his career elsewhere, but the destination remains a complete mystery. With all the quarterback movement across the league, the 26-year-old may experience a tough time finding a new team.

Baker Mayfield waiting for imminent Browns departure

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield attempts a pass during an NFL game.
Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield attempts a pass. | Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Watson’s arrival closes the door on Mayfield taking another snap in a Browns uniform.

The waiting game begins for the fifth-year quarterback, who is in the final year of his rookie deal earning $18.8 million. He has already expressed his desire to leave the team, and it’s only a matter of time before he lands with another franchise.

However, the pathway toward getting a fresh start with another franchise may be more challenging than he anticipated.

Baker Mayfield may have a difficult time finding a new NFL home

Mayfield’s future has remained a question mark since the Browns chose to bypass working out an extension last offseason.

The big-splash move to acquire Watson and give him a massive contract with $230 million guaranteed further sent home the message that the franchise never had complete faith in the 2018 first overall pick. With Cleveland now abiding by Mayfield’s trade request, the question remains where he could land.

Matt Ryan has filled his desired landing spot with the Indianapolis Colts. Meanwhile, several other teams such as the Denver Broncos, New Orleans, and Atlanta Falcons have all addressed their quarterback situations. The market has dried up significantly, leaving only a few teams that could pursue Mayfield or other players of his status.

The list is now a bit smaller as ESPN’s David Newton shot down a rumor that the Carolina Panthers held an interest in acquiring the Oklahoma product. The Panthers have a quarterback dilemma as Sam Darnold remains the starter.

Darnold is entering the fifth-year option of his rookie contract worth $18.8 million. Meanwhile, the team has spoken to Cam Newton about a possible return.

All that leaves the Seattle Seahawks as the lone known option, but there remains lingering doubt. The Seahawks could roll forward to see if Drew Lock is the answer under center. Lock is a more inexpensive option than Mayfield, making $1.4 million in 2022. If that doesn’t work out, the team could explore the 2023 NFL Draft for their next quarterback.

The market could change, but it’s becoming bleak for Mayfield to land in an ideal situation.

Uncertainty lies ahead for Baker Mayfield

In a matter of days, Baker Mayfield went from having several potential landing spots to hoping one team gives him a chance to shine.

Yes, the Seahawks could ultimately become the team that acquires him, but there isn’t a vast market for his services. In the last week, the high volume of quarterback movement has shown his true league value as other franchises are going with alternatives over him.

The Saints chose to bring Jameis Winston back on a two-year deal despite suffering a torn ACL last November. Meanwhile, the Falcons signed Marcus Mariota to a two-year, $18.7 million deal after not starting a game since the 2019 season with the Tennesse Titans.

Mayfield has plenty of motivation to prove he can guide a franchise to success. The question that remains is, where will that be?

Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.

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