It’s been a long off-season for quarterback Baker Mayfield as he awaits his next chapter in the NFL. With the Cleveland Browns deciding to move on from the 2018 No.1 overall pick, Mayfield has been stuck in limbo as he waits for a trade or a release. One team that makes the most sense and has been rumored to trade for Mayfield is the Carolina Panthers.
Panthers Need A Play-Caller
Ever since the 2018 season, the Panthers’ quarterback room has progressively taken a downturn. The Panthers have had quarterbacks like Kyle Allen and Teddy Bridgewater in the past few years, but we knew they were never the long-term answer.
Because of that, the Panthers decided to trade for Sam Darnold, who happened to go No. 3 to the New York Jets in the 2018 draft. Simply put, Darnold did perform well enough to suggest to the Panthers that he’s their long-term answer either.
Due to Darnold’s performance last season, the Panthers elected to draft quarterback Matt Corral out of Ole Miss with the 94th pick in this year’s draft. However, in no shape or form does this mean they are tied to Corral.
Mayfield has one year left on his contract, so it’s a perfect scenario for the Panthers to take advantage of a player who’s in a contract year. It’s been reported that the Browns are willing to eat half of Mayfield’s contract, but it sounds like they may have to eat more because of how Mayfield’s trade value has been depleted.
At the most, the Panthers will probably only have to give up a late-round draft pick which would be well worth it considering their situation.
At the end of the day, the Panthers are only bidding against themselves, and if the Browns lost Mayfield for nothing, that would give the Browns’ front office an even worse image than they already have.
Mayfield’s A Match
Last season was Mayfield’s worst year of his career, and for one big reason. In Week 2 against the Houston Texans, Mayfield suffered a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Mayfield decided to put off surgery and went on to play 12 more games last season, but he looked like a shell of himself.
Mayfield received surgery on the shoulder on January 19 and had a 4-6 month recovery timetable, so there’s plenty of time to get him up to speed if he were traded to the Panthers.
If Mayfield gets a chance to start at quarterback next season, he’s going to have one thing on his mind: revenge. Since the Browns decided to change course at quarterback, Mayfield is going to have an extra kick in his step because he wants to prove his doubters wrong.
We saw it in 2017 when he was the quarterback at Oklahoma. He was a loud, exuberant player, and many teams and fans didn’t like that about him. But he didn’t let that affect him, and he eventually took home the Heisman Trophy that year because of it.
I’m not saying he can be that player again, but with how the Panthers’ quarterback room currently sits, he would have the most potential in that room.
The Panthers have been searching for a long-term answer at quarterback, and Mayfield is looking to prove the Browns and many others wrong. The two sides could get what they’re both looking for, and the risk wouldn’t be that high.
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