Potential Baker Mayfield team No. 1: Carolina Panthers
The No. 1 fit for Baker Mayfield remains the Carolina Panthers. This is a team that has a head coach sitting on the hottest of seats after going just 10-23 in his first two seasons.
Matt Rhule knows his job is on the line and that’s why he was interested in an upgrade over Sam Darnold. And that upgrade was nearly Mayfield.
Cleveland and Carolina exchanged trade proposals for the quarterback but the hang-up was reportedly the money owed to the fifth-year quarterback. With a fully guaranteed contract approaching $19 million, the Panthers were trying to get the Browns to eat as much of that as possible.
Carolina was asking for Cleveland to pay roughly $13-$14 million of it and when general manager Andrew Berry said no, the trade fell apart. Carolina then added Matt Corral in the draft but a mid-round pick at the position doesn’t mean their interest in Mayfield is dead.
Instead, they might just be playing it cool themselves and waiting to see if the Browns do indeed soften their stance, or simply release Mayfield outright.
If they do end up cutting ties, there’s no way the Panthers don’t make a phone call. And for the NFL, it could be a fun storyline since the two franchises start the season off by playing one another in Week 1 at Carolina.