A mock draft has the Cleveland Browns trading Baker Mayfield and their first-round pick to the Arizona Cardinals for quarterback Kyler Murray.
It is no secret that the Cleveland Browns have a ton of questions in regards to quarterback Baker Mayfield and the future of the franchise. Does Mayfield get one more chance to prove he is the man to lead the Browns to the promised land?
According to Josh Edwards of CBS Sports, he not only sees Mayfield not being the Browns starter in 2022 but also using him in a trade to acquire Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray.
The trade would see Mayfield, the No. 13 overall pick and presumably other draft picks in exchange for Murray. This is a deal that I feel Browns general manager Andrew Berry should heavily consider.
Murray recently wiped any mention of the Cardinals on his social media accounts. That usually is not a good sign. Much like Mayfield, Murray is seeking a contract extension, and it doesn’t seem like the Cardinals are sure if they want to give him said extension. Injuries and poor second-half performances have led to the hesitation. This could be the cause for the social media wiping.
As for Mayfield, he is entering year five and we still don’t know the kind of quarterback he truly is. Yes, I am well aware of the 14-game stretch he put together over the second half of the 2020 season through the first two weeks of the 2021 season, but you cannot simply judge if he is extension-worthy based on 14 games. If you have a quarterback entering year five with a ton of question marks, then you already have your answer.
To add to all of that, he is coming off shoulder surgery to repair his left, non-throwing shoulder. Will he be fully healthy at the start of the season and will that allow him to play the position better? That is one way to look at it, but if you can use him in a trade to acquire a player with the abilities of Murray, you almost have to pull the proverbial trigger.
Mayfield has played in 14 more career games than Murray, but his stats aren’t overwhelmingly better. He has passed for just 2,645 yards than Murray while throwing 22 more touchdowns and interceptions. Murray has a completion percentage of 66.9 edging out Mayfield’s 61.6 percent.
Where Murray makes up for that is on the ground, where he has shown he is an elite runner for a quarterback. Murray has 1,215 more yards and 15 more touchdowns than Mayfield using his legs. That is what truly separates these two quarterbacks; the ability of Murray to extend and make plays by using his feet. Mayfield will often times abandons a clean pocket and has shown he doesn’t see the whole field well.
Please do not bring up the issue of height either. Mayfield is six-feet-one while Murray is five-foot-10. That has nothing to do with anything. Some people act as if the linemen in college were small compared to the giants of the NFL offensive lines. That is just simply ridiculous.
WWE executive Bruce Prichard often says on his Something to Wrestle podcast that often times wrestlers just need a “fresh paint of coat,” and maybe that is exactly what these two quarterbacks need. They have a ton of similarities as they are both former Oklahoma Sooner quarterbacks who won the Heisman Trophy and were both taken first overall in back-to-back drafts.
The Cardinals would have a dead cap hit of $5.8 million should they make this trade. The Browns would have the luxury of having Murray on his fifth-year option in 2023 like Baker, with the possibility of extending him prior to that happening, much like the Chiefs did with Patrick Mahomes.
Andrew Berry has been an aggressive general manager and it is highly unlikely he and head coach Kevin Stefanski are willing to mortgage their futures on a quarterback they still don’t know if he has what it takes to lead this franchise. Murray would be a significant upgrade, especially if Berry lands quality free agent wide receivers.