When the Cleveland Browns begin their 2022 campaign down south against the Carolina Panthers in September, they'll see Baker Mayfield under center, wearing a different uniform. According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, Mayfield's tenure with the Browns is finally over, as the franchise has agreed to move the 27-year-old quarterback to the Panthers, in exchange for a 2024 conditional fifth-round draft pick. The trade is still pending a physical.
Carolina, which has already announced the deal, will reportedly pay Mayfield $4.8 million of the $18.8 million he's set to earn this season, and Cleveland is responsible for $10.5 million. Mayfield's also agreed to a $3.5 million pay cut, but he can get that money back in incentives. Mayfield, selected first overall by the Browns in 2018, was pushed to a divorce with the franchise, after they pursued and acquired embattled quarterback Deshaun Watson in late March.
"I'm not shocked, just because both sides wanted to get a deal done," former Panthers safety Roman Harper explained to the Maggie and Perloff show with Zach Gelb on Wednesday. "And the longer Baker Mayfield was there, that was only going to get more toxic -- more questions. And as an organization, you're already dealing with enough situations... It's a little bit shocking it was only for a fifth-round pick... I'm happy for Carolina -- they get another quarterback.
"But whenever you have three quarterbacks, that really tells me that you don't have any. So I'm really excited, but I'm also questioning what the Panthers are doing as well... If the o-line shows up, they've got a chance... Baker Mayfield, is he healthy. That's the biggest question... I don't think he's an All-Star. I think he's a decent-good quarterback. But he has to be protected because he isn't overly big... You're going to get someone's trash and make it your treasure..."
The entire Panthers-Mayfield trade conversation between Harper and Maggie and Perloff can be accessed in the audio player above.