Baker Mayfield Traded to Panthers from Browns for Conditional 2024 Draft Pick

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 6, 2022

AP Photo/David Richard

The Cleveland Browns traded quarterback Baker Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers on Wednesday for a conditional 2024 fifth-round pick.

Carolina Panthers @Panthers

👨‍🍳👨‍🍳👨‍🍳 <a href="https://t.co/5QOX4FKwJg">pic.twitter.com/5QOX4FKwJg</a>

According to Albert Breer of The MMQB, the conditional pick will turn into a fourth-rounder if Mayfield plays 70 percent of Carolina's offensive snaps in 2022:

Albert Breer @AlbertBreer

The 2024 fifth-round pick in the Baker Mayfield deal, going from Carolina to Cleveland, becomes a fourth-rounder if Mayfield plays 70% of the Panthers’ offensive snaps this season, per source.<br><br>So … if he’s the starter and stays healthy, basically.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network first reported the trade, noting the teams will split Mayfield's $18.9 million salary. Peter Schrager of Fox Sports broke down the details:

Peter Schrager @PSchrags

Browns will eat around $10.5 of Mayfield’s salary. One note— this by no means Mayfield is Week 1 starter. As someone who’s been saying all along Carolina has been the lone destination for Baker (check the tape) Sam Darnold is still VERY highly considered in that building. <a href="https://twitter.com/gmfb?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@gmfb</a>

Mayfield will face his former team in Week 1, as the Panthers host the Browns to start the regular season.

Nearly four months ago, the Browns acquired Deshuan Watson from the Houston Texans, all but guaranteeing Mayfield's exit. The 2017 Heisman Trophy winner is coming off a 2021 season in which he struggled with injuries and ineffectiveness. He is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery after playing last season with a harness.

While it was believed Mayfield would return to play under his fifth-year option, the Browns did not limit themselves in a search for a new quarterback. They met with Watson and then gave him with a fully guaranteed $230 million contract.

It was jarring after Mayfield appeared to be solidified as the Browns' long-term quarterback.

Mayfield helped lead the Browns to their first playoff berth since 2002 in 2020, throwing for 3,563 yards and 26 touchdowns against eight interceptions. It was a night-and-day turnaround from his nightmarish 2019, which left many to fear he'd join the lengthy list of Browns quarterback busts.

The hiring of Kevin Stefanski as head coach appeared to change Mayfield's trajectory—but that was only temporarily. He threw for just 3,010 yards and 17 touchdowns against 13 interceptions last season. The Browns failed to make the playoffs and watched as Odell Beckham Jr. thrived for the Super Bowl-winning Los Angeles Rams after agitating his way out of Cleveland midway through the season.

The falling-out was enough for the Browns, who fashion themselves as a Super Bowl contender. All that was left was finding an upgrade at quarterback, and Cleveland feels it finally has one.

This is the second straight offseason in which the Panthers have taken on a struggling quarterback. A year ago, it was Sam Darnold in a move that quickly backfired. Now the Panthers have the top two quarterbacks from the 2018 draft, and they'll compete for the starting job.

The Panthers will pay Darnold a guaranteed $18.9 million next season.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.