Baker Mayfield is on the move after another big offseason trade. The Cleveland Browns are sending the former 1st round draft selection to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a 2024 conditional 5th round draft pick.
This trade was first reported by NFL reporters Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero Wednesday afternoon on Twitter.
This comes after an offseason filled with drama for the Cleveland Browns after making a blockbuster trade for Deshaun Watson. The relationship with Baker Mayfield was already shaky. After trading for Watson, the Browns made their position clear.
What does this mean for Baker Mayfield?
This is the best-case scenario for Mayfield. He gets to go to a team that is hungry for a franchise quarterback after years of stability under Cam Newton. They recently took a gamble on Sam Darnold but clearly are not sold on him. Mayfield has a chance to win the starting job and hold it for a few years if he can play near his top level.
The biggest question mark for Mayfield is his health. Last season he played for the Browns fighting a shoulder injury on his throwing shoulder. That likely impacted his below-average year. Despite the injury, the Browns were not interested in figuring that out as they opted for Deshaun Watson even with lingering legal issues.
Where does this leave the Browns
The Cleveland Browns are in an odd spot despite having a talented roster. They have no idea when Watson will receive his punishment. Additionally, no one knows how severe the punishment will be. Nevertheless, Watson is their guy and they have shown that they are fully committed to him.
Should Watson be unable to play, the Browns have Jacoby Brissett who is very familiar with filling in for franchise quarterbacks on several teams.
What is the reaction on social media?
There is a range of reactions from NFL fans on this trade and what it means.
Baker had 2 terrible years
Brad Stainbrook, who covers the Cleveland Browns for multiple outlets reminded upset Cleveland fans that the Browns didn’t just give up on Baker after one bad year.
I will add that Baker Mayfield did not have 2 consecutive bad years. 2020 was actually his best season posting a 95.9 passer rating. 2019 and 2021 might be the 2 years that Brad was referring to. 2020 is what pro Baker fans are clinging to and with the injury argument, they have a decent case.
Bad decision for the Browns
Twitter user Thomas Richardson brought up a good point about how Baker was a crucial part of digging the franchise out of poverty but at the end of the day, they traded him away in favor of someone with multiple sexual assault accusations.
The Browns will regret trading Baker Mayfield
Building on what Thomas said, this might be a move the Browns regret forever. With Watson’s legal issues lingering the stakes are already very high. NFL Analyst Emmanuel Acho is confident this will end up being a move the Browns regret.
The good thing is that we will get some must-see television out of this. Baker Mayfield will take on his former team at home on September 11th.