NFL insider pocket book: Browns seem caught with Baker Mayfield for one more 12 months, plus Week 18 picks


Simply greater than a month in the past I wrote on this area in regards to the 5 choices the Cleveland Browns had with Baker Mayfield. You possibly can learn the total put up right here, however the lengthy and in need of it was irrespective of how the season ended, he’d doubtless be again for 2022 enjoying underneath the fifth-year choice.

As horrible — and, in equity, injured — as he seemed Monday in opposition to the Steelers, I nonetheless imagine that is the extra doubtless choice.

After talking with sources across the league about what the Browns may do with Mayfield after he completed his fourth season with zero fourth-quarter comebacks or game-winning drives, a market difficulty started rising.

The Browns would want a veteran QB to wish to be traded there. That vet would have to be satisfied of his receiving weapons. Cleveland’s receiving weapons are removed from convincing and I do not see how they markedly enhance in three months by free company.

Jarvis Landry simply turned 29 and put collectively his worst profession 12 months. No matter draft capital the Browns have in 2022 could be set away in a commerce for mentioned QB. And the free agent marketplace for extensive receivers will likely be backside heavy. Davante Adams might get franchised. Chris Godwin is coming off an ACL. JuJu Smith-Schuster is coming off a shoulder damage. Michael Gallup simply tore his ACL.

Are you actually going to draw Deshaun Watson or Russell Wilson to Cleveland with this group of receivers, even in the event you boast a implausible offensive line and working sport? Market forces, plus the sunk price of Mayfield’s fifth-year choice, may make it so the Browns have little selection however to maneuver forward with the previous No. 1 total decide for one more season.

Baalke backlash not swaying Khan

Jaguars proprietor Shad Khan severely underestimated the fan response — nay, revolt — over his intention to retain GM Trent Baalke. However I am instructed Khan stays steadfast in his determination to retain Baalke as common supervisor of the workforce transferring ahead.

As I wrote final week, the Jaguars had been placing out feelers across the league for a No. 2 to pair with Baalke; a type of director of participant personnel or assistant GM. There’s been a lukewarm response. Baalke is not trusted or well-liked across the league based mostly off his time in San Francisco, and there’s preliminary discomfort in leaping over to work with him.

I am instructed inside that constructing Baalke has been nice to work with. Final 12 months he stored exhibiting as much as the constructing each day even when there was no readability on if he nonetheless had a job.

If there is a notion/actuality hole, the Jaguars need to deal with that within the interview course of with candidates. One personnel exec instructed me the choice to retain Baalke confirmed Khan not being tapped into the soccer world.

“It is all about who your community is,” that govt instructed me. “If you cannot broaden your community into the folks you are attempting to rent, how have you learnt the reality?”

Black Monday may come early

For coaches and GMs on the recent seat, do not be stunned if Black Monday begins Sunday night.

Group house owners opted in opposition to firing their coaches and GMs within the closing two weeks of the common season to get a leap on searches, however the schedule falls in order that many of those males on scorching seats might be out of a job earlier than “Sunday Evening Soccer” is full.

The Vikings and Giants all play at dwelling Sunday. There aren’t any flights again dwelling that need to be taken right here. The Vikings particularly might determine there is no want to attend till Monday to do the inevitable with Mike Zimmer.

Jets winners in relation to trades

The New York Jets have pulled off being so unhealthy throughout completely different head coaches and GMs that they had been in a position to persuade different NFL groups that their good items could be nice items if they may simply get out of New York.

That is the conclusion I’ve come to after reflecting on the Jamal Adams and Sam Darnold trades, anyway. Their unhealthy was so unhealthy that NFL groups figured they may salvage these gamers and shine them into the celebs worthy of the commerce compensation given up.

The Jets gained each trades and it isn’t even shut. For Darnold, the Panthers gave up a 2022 second, 2022 fourth and 2021 sixth. He has seven touchdowns and 12 interceptions for the Panthers this season, they usually’ve already picked up his fifth-year choice.

The Seahawks obtained Adams and a 2022 fourth whereas sending away two firsts, a 3rd and security Bradley McDougald. Adams has not been the lacking piece to returning Seattle’s protection to the Legion of Growth period.

To tug off such heists, you need to be unhealthy. I imply, actually unhealthy. A median workforce with these gamers would have by no means gotten that type of return. However give credit score to GM Joe Douglas: he leveraged the notion of the workforce in opposition to the true worth of these participant property and obtained an inflated return.

Week 18 picks

I went 12-4 final week, although I really feel prefer it ought to be 13-3. I’ve no recollection of choosing the Panthers to beat the Saints and I am unable to imagine I did that. Oh properly, my total file is now 173-82-1. Let’s end out robust right here in Week 18, even when we’re not fully positive who’s enjoying this week.

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV: CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click on right here)

The Steelers nonetheless have a glimmer of hope to succeed in the playoffs, and that’ll be sufficient for them.

The decide: Steelers

Bears at Vikings

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV: Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click on right here)

I am going to take the Vikings starters on this one.

The decide: Vikings

Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET
TV: NBC | Stream: fuboTV (click on right here)

Would not all of us type of like to see these two groups kneel the clock out? As a result of the Colts will beat the Jags, we cannot be capable of see it. The higher workforce wins right here.

The decide: Chargers

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