- By Josh Clark
With the 2022 season approaching, sources close to the Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers are now acknowledging interest in disgruntled Browns QB Baker Mayfield.
It’s his guaranteed 2022 salary that’s the issue.
The Athletic’s Josh Howe confirmed as much this week.
“The Panthers and Seahawks have shown interest in acquiring Mayfield, but the Browns haven’t been willing to absorb enough of his fully guaranteed $18.858 million salary. There had indeed been some progress in the negotiations between the Browns and Panthers before Carolina traded up for quarterback Matt Corral — a move the Panthers felt compelled to make with a QB prospect they liked still dangling out there,” he wrote.
It’s a significant acknowledgement for both clubs — and the fact the details were leaked is just as significant.
Simply put: Both organizations are letting the Browns know loud and clear, they’re willing to pay for Mayfield if the club swallows some of his salary.
The Browns are backed into a corner.
Mayfield is QB3 on a roster ready to move on from the former No. 1 overall pick ans the league is well aware. The Seahawks and Panthers are among the ultra-short list of suitors but it’s clear neither plan on starting a bidding war.
Both also recognize the Browns probably won’t want to keep Mayfield on their roster by late July – or else, risk seeing a training camp repeat that their new Franchise QB – Deshaun Watson – pulled in Houston in 2021.
With Watson’s civil lawsuits already one looming distraction, the Browns won’t want to add another by way of a Baker Mayfield holdout.
Translation: The Browns will likely be moving on, with or without a trading partner this summer.