Could frustrated Baker Mayfield on the move? Talks between Browns and Panthers escalate

Baker Mayfield could be on the move
Former Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield gestures to the crowd from midfield during events for the dedication of a statue of him outside Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium, during halftime of Oklahoma’s NCAA college football spring game Saturday, April 23, 2022, in Norman, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Talks between the Cleveland Browns and Carolina Panthers have ramped up recently for quarterback Baker Mayfield, according to reports

The teams appear close to a deal, but issues on salary remains the largest obstacle in a potential agreement.

The Browns former first overall pick has been given an excused absence from mandatory camp while the team works to find a trade partner. 

Baker Mayfield’s frustration comes from the Cleveland Browns entering and winning the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes back in March.

Cleveland’s front office cited “wanting an adult” at quarterback after Baker’s many public issues with the team. The Browns, though are in their own mess of sorts with two more accusers coming forward accusing Deshaun Watson of sexual misconduct. 

For Carolina, there is some urgency to get a deal done soon to make sure that Mayfield potentially has plenty of time to work with a new group of receivers, and new offense before training camp hits. 

The Panthers are not without their own controversy as well, although nowhere close to where the Browns have been in the last few months. 

Wide receiver, Robby Anderson has reportedly contemplated retirement and head coach Matt Rhule is reportedly on the hot seat.

Baker Mayfield’s Difficult History in Cleveland

Mayfield is still the only Browns quarterback to lead the team to a playoff win since Vinny Testaverde in 1994.

Following two seasons in which the Browns went 1-15, and 0-16 respectively, Mayfield had changed the Browns outlook of the franchise for the first time in over two decades. 

In four seasons with the Browns, Mayfield has thrown 92 touchdowns, 56 interceptions with a record of 29-30. His 49% winning percentage is the highest a Browns quarterback has had since Testaverde in the mid-90’s. 

Even after a win in the playoffs against the rival Steelers in 2020, a rift had begun growing between Mayfield and star wideout, Odell Beckham Jr. When Beckham was released, it reportedly meant that Mayfield had lost the locker room. 

Add in a torn labrum in his shoulder and the quarterback’s development dropped into a downward spiral and the Browns missed the playoffs in 2021.

ARCHIVO – Foto del 25 de diciembre del 2021 Baker Mayfield, quarterback de los Browns de Cleveland calienta antes del juego ante los Packers de Green Bay. El miércoles 13 de abril del 2022, Mayfield dice que los Browns le faltaron al respeto y le mintieron sobre sus planes para la próxima temporada. (AP Foto/Aaron Gash, Archivo)

While Baker Mayfield’s future in Cleveland is all but over, questions are still left unsolved with the Browns and Panthers.

How much of Mayfield’s salary will the Browns eat? What will the Panthers have to give up for a solid starting quarterback? And if Deshaun Watson gets suspended for a year, how do the Browns justify alienating and trading Baker Mayfield? 

The Browns may have wanted “an adult” at quarterback, but their actions with Deshaun Watson have all but muddied up the waters for not only themselves, but their former franchise quarterback as well. 

For more NFL stories like this, turn to AMNY.com