Browns' Updated Salary-Cap Situation After Baker Mayfield Trade with Panthers

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJuly 6, 2022

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 03: Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) looks on during the game against the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers on January 03, 2022 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Carolina Panthers made a major splash on Wednesday, acquiring quarterback Baker Mayfield for a conditional fifth-round pick in 2024, per the team.

According to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com, the Panthers agreed to pay around $5 million of Mayfield's salary, while the veteran quarterback agreed to give up about $3.5 million. That left the Browns eating a $10.5 million cap hit.

That has left the Browns at $196.3 in total salary at the moment, per Spotrac, or $21.3 million in remaining cap space.

The team's cap space will be short-lived, however. With Deshaun Watson's $55 million cap hit next season, the Browns are already looking at 252.5 million in salary for the 2023 season, which will put them $13 million over the cap.

In other words, the Browns may look to roll some of their current cap space into next year. But the Mayfield saga is now over.

Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo

And the cherry on top of this Baker Mayfield trade:<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Browns?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Browns</a> at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Panthers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Panthers</a>, Week 1.

Kyler Murray @K1

WORK OUT!🤫 <a href="https://twitter.com/bakermayfield?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@bakermayfield</a>

Robert Griffin III @RGIII

Baker Mayfield and the <a href="https://twitter.com/Panthers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Panthers</a> are a match made in Heaven. Baker needs to play the best football of his career to eliminate all doubt he is THAT GUY and the Panthers coaching staff and front office needs him to play the best football of his career to save their jobs.

The Panthers are getting a player to compete against Sam Darnold, PJ Walker and rookie Matt Corral for the starting gig. Darnold held the job last year but struggled, throwing for just 2,527 yards, nine touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

Mayfield wasn't much better, throwing for 3,010 yards, 17 scores and 13 picks, though a non-throwing shoulder injury hampered him for much of the year. He is an upgrade over Darnold.

The Browns, meanwhile, cut ties with a player who no longer wanted to continue his relationship with the organization. While Watson may still be facing a lengthy suspension, the Browns have a contingency plan in Jacoby Brissett.

And around the NFL, the only major domino left to fall at the quarterback position is Jimmy Garoppolo, as the Niners pivot to second-year quarterback Trey Lance.