Panthers move on from Baker Mayfield after just seven appearances

Baker Mayfield. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Baker Mayfield. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

After playing in just seven games for the Carolina Panthers, former Cleveland Browns No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield is being released

It wasn’t that long ago when Baker Mayfield appeared to be the hot young quarterback in the NFL. He was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and led the Cleveland Browns to their first win in 635 days when he showed up in Week 3 that year.

He was also under center when they made a triumphant return to the postseason in 2020 — where they even beat the Steelers on the road.

Unfortunately, that’s where the fun stopped. Mayfield struggled throughout the 2021 campaign and was replaced by Deshaun Watson in the offseason. To add insult to injury, Cleveland couldn’t find a trading partner for months.

Eventually, he landed with the Carolina Panthers but that stop has now ended as well. It was announced on Monday that Carolina plans to release Mayfield after he made just seven appearances.

Mayfield completed 57.8 percent of his attempts with the Panthers for 1,313 yards with six touchdown and six picks. Carolina was 1-5 with him under center and 3-3 without him. He also had trouble getting on the same page as D.J. Moore, a similar issue to the one he had with Odell Beckham in Cleveland.

The Browns had hoped Mayfield would continue to start in Carolina after landing a conditional pick that could escalate into a fourth-round selection. That won’t happen now since he’s on the way out.

What’s next for Baker Mayfield?

It’s safe to say Mayfield is running out of chances in the NFL, especially after we saw how limited the market was for his services this offseason. Having said that, there are a couple of franchises that could make sense as a landing spot.

The one that jumps out is the San Francisco 49ers, who recently lost Jimmy Garoppolo to a broken foot. Garoppolo was already filling in for an injured Trey Lance and they’ve now turned to Brock Purdy, this year’s Mr. Irrelevant.

Mayfield could be a viable backup plan behind Purdy and Kyle Shanahan does have a history of getting the best out of his quarterbacks. The question would be whether or not he wants to invest in someone such as Mayfield, who might have completely lost his confidence at this point.

In addition to the Niners, the Los Angeles Rams and Houston Texans could be interested. L.A. also lost their starter as Matthew Stafford has been sidelined. Houston doesn’t have any injury concerns but they’re starting Kyle Allen, which means they could be interested in some competition — although those teams have nothing to play for, making it less likely he lands with them.