Baker Mayfield traded to Panthers: Winners, losers in deal to send former No. 1 overall pick to Carolina

Carolina has a new quarterback. Wednesday, the Cheetahs In trade with former no. 1 overall pick, Baker Mayfield Cleveland Browns, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones confirms. Carolina will send the Browns a conditional fifth-round pick that could become a fourth depending on Mayfield’s playing time.

While this trade is between the two teams, it will have a domino effect that stretches far beyond Cleveland and Carolina. Below, we’ll cover all the winners and losers that came out of the latest trades in the NFL.

Winner: Baker Mayfield

The ultimate winner in all of this is Baker Mayfield. He previously requested a trade from Cleveland as the team landed Deshaun Watson this offseason, and now he’s getting his wish. Wait a minute, that is There seemed to be a chance (however slim). There the Browns won’t trade Mayfield and hope they’ll mend fences if Watson serves a massive suspension for his off-field issues. However, this agreement now eliminates the possibility of an awkward/forced reconciliation.

Not only does Mayfield leave Cleveland, but he lands with a Panthers group that has some intriguing weapons, including running back Christian McCaffrey and wideout DJ Moore, to go with a solid offensive line that includes 2022 first-round pick Ikem Ekwonu. Left tackle.

Financially, Mayfield agreed to take a $3.5 million cut in his base salary to help facilitate that trade, but he could get that money back in incentives. NFL Network. So, Mayfield could get himself out of Cleveland and be the Week 1 starter without taking too much financial risk. It was a win for the former No. 1 overall pick.

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Loser: Cleveland Browns

There is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the Browns’ situation under center. The NFL insisted that Watson face an indefinite suspension for at least one season. If the Disciplinary Officer Sue. L. Robinson reigns that way, and Cleveland’s ceiling at the quarterback position will drop drastically. In Mayfield’s absence, Jacoby Brissett will be the clear choice to start if Watson is suspended. While it may be an uphill battle trying to reconcile Mayfield, he has experience in Kevin Stefanski’s offense and would be the better option of the two for the Browns to compete in Watson’s absence.

Meanwhile, a fourth-turning fifth-round pick won’t be an earth-shattering return. The Browns are also reportedly paying a portion of Mayfield’s contract through 2022. NFL NetworkCleveland pays $10.5 million in Mayfield’s contract, while the Panthers pay him $5 million.

Even if it clears up some cap space and clears up a player who requested a trade, Cleveland is very exposed right now if Watson gets hammered in the next few days/weeks.

Winner: Carolina Panthers

The Panthers made improvements at quarterback and didn’t spend much to do so. As we mentioned above, the Browns are paying the majority of Mayfield’s contract, and only have to send Carolina a conditional fifth-rounder for the former No. 1 overall pick.

While Mayfield has had some ups and downs in his four-year career, he’s arguably the best quarterback the Panthers have brought in since Cam Newton first played with the team following the 2019 season. Both Mayfield and Sam Darnold — the club’s 2021 starter — came into the league in 2018, but Mayfield has enjoyed more success. For their careers, Mayfield’s 87.8 passer rating is much better than Darnold’s 76.9 passer rating. Along with that talent boost, Mayfield’s presence should improve the overall ceiling for Carolina’s offense.

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Again, this makes it a no-brainer move for the Panthers to excel at the most important position in the game and do so at a low cost.

An underrated part of this deal is the ramifications it will have across the NFL and the NFC West in particular.

The Seattle Seahawks were considered a potential landing spot for Mayfield after the teams traded Russell Wilson. Denver Broncos Earlier this season. Right now, Drew Lock and Geno Smith are expected to be out for the starting job in camp, but Mayfield could be a better option than either of those two heading into 2022.


Another loser in all of this is Jimmy Garoppolo, as Seattle will likely have to go into the season with either Lock or Smith. He and Mayfield became the two remaining quarterbacks and Carolina seemed like the most logical landing spot for Garoppolo because the only other target 49ers Seattle had a quarter to begin with. Would San Francisco be willing to trade Garoppolo within the division to compete against him twice a year? Even if the Niners are willing to have the conversation, Garoppolo’s price tag would be high because it would be an intra-division trade.

So, Mayfield landing in Carolina is actually the worst possible outcome for either side. Garoppolo loses a clear path to start in 2022 and Seattle misses out on an upgrade at quarterback for a relatively cheap price.

Winner: Jacoby Brissett


While Mayfield goes to Carolina, Jacoby Brissett is in line to start if/when Watson is suspended for the Browns. This gives Brissett another opportunity to showcase his skills that will last him a full season. The 29-year-old signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Browns this offseason, and if he plays well in 2022 for however long he’s the starter, that could lead to a much stronger market next year and a payday. Best backups in the league.

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Brissett has 37 starts over his six-year NFL career and has a career completion percentage of 60.2 and a passer rating of 83.

Loser: Sam Darnold


Unless the Panthers turn around and trade Darnold to the Seahawks and he wins the job, the move ensures Darnold won’t be a starting quarterback in 2022. In 2021, the starter in Carolina went 4-7 in 11 starts for the Panthers.

After catching fire in New York, Darnold was traded to the Panthers last season, and there was hope the former first-round pick could rebuild his position in the league with this change of scenery. However, after a campaign in which he threw more interceptions than touchdowns and completed just 59.8% of his passes, it never paid off.

The question now is whether or not Darnold will ever again be viewed as a viable starting quarterback.

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