When he was traded from the Cleveland Browns to the Carolina Panthers, Baker Mayfield sacrificed a portion of his salary to facilitate the deal. Now, it appears he'll have the chance to earn that money back.
As part of his contract with the Panthers, Mayfield can earn up to $3.5 million in incentives based on playing time and performance, per ESPN's Field Yates:
The 27-year-old quarterback was originally set to make $18.8 million for the 2022 season after Cleveland had exercised his fifth-year option. When Mayfield was acquired by Carolina earlier this month, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Panthers would pay $4.85 million of his salary, while the Browns were on the hook to pay $10.5 million.
The incentives in Mayfield's contract are based both on individual and team performance. If he plays in 75 percent of the snaps this season, he will earn a bonus if Carolina wins 10 games and for every potential playoff victory. Leading the Panthers to a top-five or top-10 offense would also boost Mayfield's bank account, as will a Pro Bowl selection. His accuracy will also be important this year, thanks to the completion percentage incentive.
The No. 1 overall pick in 2018, Mayfield will be competing for Carolina's starting job against Sam Darnold, who was selected two picks after him. The Panthers also chose former Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral in the third round of this year's draft.
Mayfield will surely be motivated to win the quarterback competition, especially considering that Carolina's Week 1 opponent is Cleveland. The relationship between Mayfield and the Browns soured after the team publicly pursued and then acquired three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans.