The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are reported to have been doing their homework on Baker Mayfield if the Cleveland Browns were willing to trade him
With the Cleveland Browns already being very active this offseason as they made a trade with the Dallas Cowboys for their All-Pro wide receiver Amari Cooper to help bolster their wide receiver room. Now, there’s a lot of other chatter about what else the team would try and get accomplished in the next few weeks — and Baker Mayfield again has seen his name mentioned.
The free agency window opens this week and Cleveland is surely going to be very involved in trying to lock in a few new players there. The team has also been rumored to show some interest in a couple of veteran quarterbacks in case they decided they didn’t want to move forward with their current quarterback. Despite the organization saying they are supporting Mayfield moving ahead, at this juncture, it’s simply talk.
Cleveland has been linked to quarterback Kirk Cousins of the Minnesota Vikings as well as Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans. Watson was recently dismissed from any criminal charges against him involving dozens of plaintiffs accusing him of sexual misconduct because there was a lack of substantial evidence.
This now opens the door to the possibility that the Texans might want to trade the controversial player and teams like Cleveland have been linked to that interest. With that, other teams, like the Buccaneers have been doing their homework on Mayfield in case the Browns would want to trade him.
According to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, the Bucs have been doing their homework on the Browns quarterback.
Stroud did say Tampa is looking at several options, but Mayfield is definitely on the list.
With the recent news involving the Browns trading for Cooper from Dallas, does that also suggest that the Browns are trying to upgrade in the wide receiver room to attract a quarterback out there like Watson, who has a no-trade clause and would have to be okay with going to a team like Cleveland?
Only time will tell, but the Browns certainly don’t seem like a team that is going to wait too much longer on what they want to do with Mayfield.
Yes, the organization has suggested they back Mayfield, but they also haven’t attempted to negotiate a new contract with him. It’s very unusual for a player, drafted No. 1 overall to not have negotiated a new deal yet. In most cases, once players in the league reach a year out from their contract ending, they will usually strike up a new contract.
As an example, if you look back at Browns running back Nick Chubb and his contract last summer, both sides agreed on a new deal well in advance of the initial contact running out.
All of this would suggest that the Browns are actively looking around the league as we speak and trying to see who might want to trade for Mayfield. If the Buccaneers are reported to have done their homework on him and that’s being reported broadly now, I’d believe there is a stronger possibility of this trade actually happening than some Browns fans want to think.
It would be the type of trade that would be controversial, but Cleveland is in a window of time where they need to be able to contend now and with so many question marks swirling around Mayfield, a move now might be the best for all parties.