Baker Mayfield traded to Panthers: Winners, losers in deal that sends former No. 1 total choose to Carolina

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There’s a new quarterback in Carolina. On Wednesday, the Panthers acquired former No. 1 total choose, Baker Mayfield, in a commerce with the Cleveland Browns, CBS Sports activities NFL Insider Jonathan Jones confirms. Carolina will ship a conditional fifth-round choose to the Browns that may flip right into a fourth relying on Mayfield’s enjoying time. 

Whereas this commerce is solely between two groups, it’ll have a domino impact that can stretch effectively past Cleveland and Carolina. Beneath, we’ll cowl all of the winners and losers which have come out of the newest commerce within the NFL.

Winner: Baker Mayfield

The final word winner in all that is Baker Mayfield. He’d beforehand requested a commerce out of Cleveland because the crew landed Deshaun Watson earlier this offseason and now he will get his want. For a minute, it did look like there was a risk (nevertheless slim) the place the Browns would not commerce Mayfield and hope they mend the fence within the occasion that Watson is handed an enormous suspension for his off-the-field points. Nonetheless, this deal now eliminates the potential for an ungainly/compelled reconciliation.

Not solely does Mayfield get out of Cleveland, however he additionally lands with a Panthers crew that has some intriguing weapons together with operating again Christian McCaffrey and wideout D.J. Moore, to associate with a sturdy offensive line that options 2022 first-round choose Ikem Ekwonu at left deal with.  

Financially, Mayfield did conform to trim $3.5 million off of his base wage to assist facilitate that commerce, however he can earn that cash again in incentives, per the NFL Community. So, Mayfield finds himself out of Cleveland and right into a scenario the place he’ll be the Week 1 starter with out having to tackle a lot monetary threat. It is a win all the best way round for the previous No. 1 total choose. 

Loser: Cleveland Browns

There may be nonetheless loads of uncertainty surrounding the Browns’ scenario below heart. The NFL was pushing for Watson to face an indefinite suspension of at the very least one season. If disciplinary officer Sue. L. Robinson guidelines that method, Cleveland’s ceiling on the quarterback place will drastically fall. With Mayfield gone, Jacoby Brissett could be the clear-cut choice to begin if Watson is suspended. Whereas it might have been an uphill battle to try to reconcile with Mayfield, he does have expertise in Kevin Stefanski’s offense and could be the higher choice of the 2 for the Browns to be aggressive in Watson’s absence. 

In the meantime, a fifth-round choose that might flip right into a fourth is hardly an earth-shattering return. The Browns are additionally reportedly paying the chunk of Mayfield’s contract for 2022. Per the NFL Community, Cleveland is shelling out $10.5 million of Mayfield’s deal, whereas the Panthers pays him $5 million.

Regardless of clearing some cap area and ridding itself of a participant that requested a commerce, Cleveland is at the moment very uncovered if the hammer is dropped on Watson over the subsequent few days/weeks. 

Winner: Carolina Panthers

The Panthers improved at quarterback and it did not price a lot to take action. As we famous above, the Browns are paying the majority of Mayfield’s contract and Carolina solely wanted to ship a conditional fifth-rounder for the previous No. 1 total choose. 

Whereas Mayfield has had some ups and downs all through his four-year profession, he’s arguably the perfect quarterback that the Panthers have introduced in since Cam Newton’s first stint with the crew got here to an finish following the 2019 season. Each Mayfield and Sam Darnold — the membership’s 2021 starter — got here into the league in 2018, however Mayfield has loved extra success. For his or her careers, Mayfield’s 87.8 passer ranking is a lot better than Darnold’s 76.9 passer ranking. With that expertise improve, Mayfield’s presence ought to enhance the general ceiling for Carolina’s offense.

Once more, getting higher at a very powerful place within the sport and doing so at such a low price makes this a no brainer transfer for the Panthers. 

The underrated piece to this deal is the repercussions it’ll have throughout the NFL and particularly the NFC West. 

The Seattle Seahawks have been one of many groups that have been pegged as a possible touchdown spot for Mayfield after they traded Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos earlier this offseason. At the moment, Drew Lock and Geno Smith are anticipated to duke it out for the beginning job in camp, however Mayfield could be a a lot better choice than both of these two heading into 2022. 

As Seattle might have to enter the season with both Lock or Smith, one other loser in all that is Jimmy Garoppolo. He and Mayfield have been the 2 remaining quarterbacks left to be moved and Carolina appeared to be essentially the most logical touchdown spot for Garoppolo, just because the one different vacation spot for the 49ers quarterback to begin was in Seattle. Would San Francisco be prepared to commerce Garoppolo inside the division solely to compete towards him twice a yr? Even when the Niners have been prepared to have the dialog, the asking value for Garoppolo would possible be bumped up as a result of it could be an inner-division commerce. 

So, Mayfield touchdown in Carolina is admittedly the worst doable final result for these two sides. Garoppolo loses what would have been the clearest avenue to begin in 2022 and Seattle misses out on bettering at quarterback at a comparatively low cost price. 

Winner: Jacoby Brissett

With Mayfield heading to Carolina, Jacoby Brissett is in line to begin for the Browns if/when Watson is handed a suspension. This offers Brissett one other alternative to showcase his abilities for what may very well be as much as a full season. The 29-year-old signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Browns this offseason and if he performs effectively in 2022 for nevertheless lengthy he’s the starter, it might result in a extra sturdy market subsequent yr and be paid as top-of-the-line backups within the league. 

Brissett has 37 begins below his belt all through his six-year NFL profession and has a profession completion share of 60.2 and an 83 passer ranking.

Loser: Sam Darnold

Until the Panthers flip round and commerce Darnold to the Seahawks and he wins that job, this transfer virtually definitely ensures that Darnold won’t be a beginning quarterback in 2022. On the very least, it seems to be like he’s one-and-done because the starter in Carolina after going 4-7 in his 11 begins for the Panthers in 2021. 

After flaming out in New York, Darnold was traded to the Panthers final offseason and there was hope that the previous first-round choose might rebuild his standing within the league with this alteration of surroundings. Nonetheless, after a marketing campaign the place he threw extra interceptions than touchdowns and accomplished simply 59.8% of his passes, it by no means got here to fruition. 

Now the query is whether or not or not Darnold will ever be checked out as a starting-caliber quarter once more.  



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