The New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles made a blockbuster trade that could inadvertently help end the Baker Mayfield era in Cleveland
Earlier this week, the New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles made a huge trade ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft. While the Cleveland Browns and Baker Mayfield had absolutely nothing to do with this move, it could end up being a major factor in finally ending the relationship between the two parties.
Cleveland has been wanting to move on from Mayfield ever since they landed Deshaun Watson but teams have been reluctant to give up any capital for the former No. 1 pick — partially due to his guaranteed salary of nearly $19 million. The Browns have been patient and are holding out hope that some team could get desperate enough to make a move for a quarterback with some starting experience.
And now that could happen after the New Orleans Saints added the No. 16 and No. 19 pick from the Philadelphia Eagles in the draft — in exchange for their own selections at No. 18, 101, and 237 in this draft as well as a 2023 first-round pick, a 2024 second-round pick.
How the Saints/Eagles trade could impact Baker Mayfield
At first glance, it might seem weird to connect the dots between a team adding two picks in the teens to Baker Mayfield, but it’s really not that big of a stretch. New Orleans, who was all-in on the Deshaun Watson pursuit as well, is clearly not sold on Jameis Winston as the future of their franchise — remember, it was Sean Payton he played well under, and Payton is now gone.
New Orleans also didn’t mortgage part of their future to hope a couple of players are on the board at 16 and 19 they like. Instead, they made this move with another in mind, and that move could be to jump up to No. 5 where they could land Kenny Pickett.
Doing so would keep the Carolina Panthers — another team that missed out on Watson — from landing the player many believe is their top choice in this class.
Should they lose out on Pickett, Carolina might be willing to send a day two or three selection to Cleveland in exchange for Baker Mayfield. And at that point, the Browns would likely be willing to take whatever they could to turn the page, which could make them more than happy to take such an offer.
Of course, there’s also a chance the Panthers could decide to take another signal-caller at No. 6, such as Malik Willis from Liberty. This too could have a similar effect as the Seattle Seahawks might also decide with both rookies off the board they should go after Mayfield. It’s hard to argue that No. 6 doesn’t give them a better shot at winning than Drew Lock does.
We all know Baker Mayfield will be playing elsewhere soon, and it could be this trade that winds up helping Cleveland sort things out.