There’s going to be a lot of speculation regarding Baker Mayfield in 2022. Here’s a look at four players one writer named as potential replacements if the Browns were going to move on
Due to the Cleveland Browns missing the playoffs following an 8-9 campaign, there will be a ton of talk about starting quarterback Baker Mayfield. While the team wants this to be in regards to his recovery from shoulder surgery, others are looking at whether or not he will remain with them at all.
One such writer who believes there’s still a chance he could leave is Andrew Falce of NFL Spin Zone. Falce recently named four players who could come in and replace Baker Mayfield — a list that includes trade targets, free agents, and one rookie.
First was Marcus Mariota, who will be a free agent. The former No. 2 overall pick from Oregon has had success in the NFL but he’s also been injury prone and inconsistent which is why he’s been behind Derek Carr the past couple of seasons with the Raiders.
Another veteran was Tua Tagovailoa, which might not be a possibility. Tua has yet to reach his potential but the Miami Dolphins moved on from Brian Flores, who wasn’t really sold on Tua. If they didn’t believe in the quarterback still, they likely wouldn’t have cut ties with a coach who has put up two winning seasons in a row.
As for the rookie, Falce names Kenny Pickett from Pitt. He’s an intriguing prospect for sure but taking him would also mean they couldn’t fix their wide receiver corps — and the last thing they need to do is add a rookie quarterback and give him the corps Mayfield had this season.
Most probable Baker Mayfield replacement listed
While chances still remain high that Mayfield will stay with the team, there was still one name listed that could make sense for this team — Kirk Cousins.
Currently with the Minnesota Vikings, Cousins could be on the trade block after Minnesota fired head coach Mike Zimmer. If he is available, Cleveland would be a logical landing spot given his relationship with head coach Kevin Stefanski.
The two worked together for a couple of years in Minnesota and Cousins had one of his best campaigns ever in 2019 with Stefanski calling plays for him. On top of that, he wouldn’t cost a first-round pick, which means they could still land a wideout early in the draft.
Again, chances remain high that Mayfield is the starter in 2022 but this connection can’t simply be shrugged off.