Robbie Anderson insists he has 'no issue’ with new teammate Baker Mayfield

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After months of tension, the Browns finally granted Baker Mayfield’s trade request Wednesday, sending the disgruntled QB to Carolina for a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2024 draft. It’s a light return, though the Browns didn’t have much leverage with Mayfield, upset by the team’s acquisition of Deshaun Watson, determined to never play another down in Cleveland.

While the outcome isn’t a particularly surprising one—the quarterback-needy Panthers have been sniffing out Mayfield for months—it will be interesting to see how the former Heisman winner meshes with new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, who did not think highly of him coming out of Oklahoma.

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“I didn’t see a lot of pro-style football in his college tape,” McAdoo told the New York Post in 2018, ranking Mayfield as the sixth-best quarterback in his class behind Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, Sam Darnold (now his teammate in Carolina), Josh Rosen, and Mason Rudolph. “I didn’t think he was a great athlete. This guy is kind of like a pocket quarterback who is short with small hands, that’s what I worry about.”

That will be a fascinating dynamic to monitor throughout training camp this summer, as will Baker’s rapport with receiver Robbie Anderson, who expressed his opposition to the team’s pursuit of Mayfield earlier this offseason.

Anderson, for his part, has tried to dispel that narrative, insisting he has nothing against Mayfield and was simply showing support for Darnold, who started 11 of Carolina's 17 games last season.

Armed with a strong supporting cast of Anderson, Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore, Carolina is as good a landing spot as Mayfield could have hoped for, allowing him to rebuild his value ahead of next year’s free agency. The 27-year-old could very well emerge as the Panthers’ long-term starter, though he’ll first have to weather some initial awkwardness, sharing a locker room with two of his staunchest critics in McAdoo and Anderson.

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