Browns' Realistic Trade Packages for Baker Mayfield

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIMay 16, 2022

Browns' Realistic Trade Packages for Baker Mayfield

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    David Richard/Associated Press

    Which team will Baker Mayfield suit up for during the 2022 NFL season? That's been a hot question throughout the offseason, but at this point, there's still no clear answer. And there may not be one coming in the near future, either.

    NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said earlier this month on The Pat McAfee Show that he doesn't think the Cleveland Browns will trade Mayfield until June "at the earliest." Until then, there will continue to be plenty of speculation surrounding the 27-year-old quarterback's future.

    The Browns no longer need Mayfield to be their starting QB after they acquired Deshaun Watson in a trade with the Houston Texans in March. That made it highly likely that Cleveland will move Mayfield prior to the upcoming season after he's been with the team since 2018, when he was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.

    As rumors continue to swirl involving Mayfield, here's a look at some realistic trade packages that could be sent to the Browns in exchange for the QB.

Carolina Panthers

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    Chris Carlson/Associated Press

    Potential Trade: Cleveland acquires a 2023 fourth-round pick and a 2024 second-round pick.

    The Carolina Panthers selected Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral in the third round of the 2022 NFL draft. But that doesn't mean they might not still be open to trading for Mayfield, especially considering Sam Darnold remains their likely starting QB heading into 2022.

    ESPN's Jeremy Fowler said on SportsCenter on Sunday that Carolina knows Corral is "a bit of a project" and that the team could still potentially trade for Mayfield or San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Fowler reported that a quarterback deal "might not be completely dead at this point" for the Panthers.

    Carolina went 5-12 during the 2021 season with inconsistent QB play. Darnold passed for 2,527 yards, nine touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 12 games, while neither Cam Newton nor P.J. Walker fared great under center. Mayfield would be an upgrade for the Panthers at the position in 2022.

    If Carolina decides it wants to give Corral an opportunity as a rookie, then it would make less sense for it to trade for Mayfield. But it doesn't seem like that's going to be the case at this point.

Seattle Seahawks

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    Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

    Potential Trade: Cleveland acquires a 2023 third-round pick and a 2024 third-round pick.

    There have been reports that the Seahawks aren't going to trade for Mayfield. Seattle head coach Pete Carroll even said during an interview on Sports Radio 93.3 KJR-FM earlier this month that he doesn't see the team dealing for a QB "at all," according to ESPN's Brady Henderson.

    Still, it's hard to completely rule the Seahawks out of the Mayfield picture. They no longer have Russell Wilson, who they traded to the Denver Broncos earlier this offseason. If the season started today, then Drew Lock would likely be Seattle's starting QB, with Geno Smith and Jacob Eason also on the depth chart.

    Mayfield is better than all of those quarterbacks, and he could potentially thrive in an offense that features wide receivers Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, as well as tight end Noah Fant. That situation could possibly allow Mayfield to take his game to another level.

    The Seahawks opted to not take a quarterback during the draft, but they need to get better at the position. Mayfield would make that happen.

Houston Texans

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    Potential Trade: Cleveland acquires a 2023 third-round pick and a 2024 fourth-round pick.

    The Texans acquired some significant draft capital from the Browns in the Watson trade. What if Houston decided to send some back to Cleveland in another big QB deal?

    It's quite possible that the Texans are content starting Davis Mills in 2022, after he showed some improvement as a rookie last season. But he may not be the long-term answer at QB for the franchise. And Mayfield could give Houston a better opportunity to improve at a faster rate.

    Even though the Texans went 4-13 last season, they have some exciting players on offense. Brandin Cooks is a strong playmaker, while John Metchie III was taken by Houston in the second round of this year's draft.

    This may be the least likely of the projected trade scenarios, but it isn't out of the realm of possibility. The Texans may be on the rise as they continue to add young players to their core, and Mayfield could help them expedite that process.