Mayfield a Carolina Panther
One part of the messy quarterback situation with the Cleveland Browns has been taken care of thanks to the reported trade of Baker Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers on Wednesday.
After giving up multiple first-round picks to acquire Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans in the offseason, the Browns are bringing back significantly less in return for Mayfield. Cleveland will get a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. There is a chance the pick could be upgraded to a fourth-round selection.
If Mayfield claims the starting job with the Panthers, as expected, his first game will be against his former team. The Browns visit Carolina in Week 1.
When it comes to NFL betting odds, the impact will be felt much more with Carolina than with Cleveland, since Mayfield wasn’t expected to play a down for the Browns in 2022 even if Watson is suspended by the NFL for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
Mayfield and Darnold are both at +10000 when it comes to leading the NFL in passing yards according to the sportsbook.
How the Panthers are Impacted
The quarterback room for the Panthers now includes two of the top three picks from the 2018 draft. Mayfield went first to Cleveland before the New York Jets surrendered three second-round picks to move up three spots to select Sam Darnold with the No. 3 selection.
Ironically, the first-round pick in the 2018 draft for Carolina was receiver D.J. Moore, who could be the player who gains the most if Mayfield becomes the quarterback people expect him to be.
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) July 6, 2022
The Carolina offense will also feature an injury-prone but gifted running back in Christian McCaffrey.
The Panthers are at +1400 in the current NFC South odds, trailing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints. That number could be changing once Mayfield gets to Carolina. The trade is pending a physical.
The big loser in this deal could be rookie Matt Corral. Carolina’s third-round pick is now in a wait-and-see situation. There is a chance he may have beaten out Darnold at some point in the upcoming season. However, it seems unlikely that he will be ahead of both Mayfield and Darnold. P.J. Walker is another quarterback on the roster.
How the Browns are Impacted
This deal shouldn’t change too much on the field in 2022. However, it could make a difference behind the scenes. The last thing the Browns needed was the distraction of potentially having two former first-round picks at quarterback not taking the field.
If Cleveland had put Mayfield on the market before acquiring Watson, the return probably would have been a little bit higher. The Atlanta Falcons got a third-round pick for quarterback .Matt Ryan, who is much older than Mayfield. Instead, Cleveland had to settle for much less in return than a 27-year-old starting quarterback as talented as Mayfield should be bringing back in a trade.
The Browns also agreed to pay $10.5M of Mayfield’s salary for the 2022 season, so this was clearly a case of moving on from a player who just two years ago was being celebrated after leading the Browns to their first postseason win since 1994.
According to the NFL playoff odds, Cleveland remains a solid No. 3 pick at +275 in the AFC North Division odds. Will that number change if Cleveland goes into the 2022 season with Jacoby Brissett as the starting quarterback?