The Baker Mayfield saga in Cleveland is finally over. The Carolina Panthers are trading a 2024 fifth-round pick to the Cleveland Browns for the embattled quarterback. This deal ends Mayfield’s Browns career that started with the former Oklahoma Heisman-winning QB as the No. 1 overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft.
The Cleveland Browns have made a Baker Mayfield trade to the Carolina Panthers
The Baker Mayfield trade has the Cleveland Browns sending Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers for a conditional fifth-round pick, per NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport on Twitter. Rapoport also reports that the “deal is pending a physical” and “all parties split the financials to make it happen.”
The financials that the parties are splitting involve the one-year and $18-plus million left on Mayfield’s rookie deal. According to the NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo on Twitter, all three sides are taking some of the hit.
The Browns will pay Mayfield $10.5 million to go away, saving $8 million next season. The Panthers are picking up around $5 million, and Mayfield has forfeited approximately $3.5 million to make the trade happen.
The deal will finalize pending a physical on Mayfield, who has shoulder surgery this offseason.
This Baker Mayfield trade officially ends the Mayfield Era in Ohio.
The organization thought it found its franchise signal-caller when it drafted Mayfield No. 1 overall out of Oklahoma in 2018. The team took the QB over Wyoming’s Josh Allen and Louisville’s Lamar Jackson.
Mayfield also went two picks ahead of USC’s Sam Darnold. The two quarterbacks are now both in Carolina and will compete — along with rookie Matt Corral from Ole Miss — for the Panthers starting job in 2022.
Mayfield’s time in Cleveland was a mixed bag. He had a 29-30 record as a starter and threw for 14,125 yards with 92 touchdowns, 56 interceptions, and a 61.6% completion rate.
In 2020, Mayfield led the Browns to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth, where the team beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wild Card Round. Mayfield and the Browns played well in the divisional round but eventually lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 22-17.
The 2021 season was marred with injuries and a nasty feud between Mayfield and star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. The team finished 8-9, and Mayfield was 6-8 as a starter.
That was enough for the franchise to give up on the QB. This offseason, the Browns traded for Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson, despite ongoing legal issues, and gave him the largest guaranteed contract in NFL history.
The Browns travel to North Carolina to take on the Panthers in Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference