Baker Mayfield

The Cleveland Browns appear to have waited as long as possible to deal with Baker Mayfield from the outside looking in. The Panthers acquired the No. 1 overall pick from the 2018 draught in exchange for a 2024 fifth-round pick, which could be upgraded to a fourth-round pick if the Panthers’ quarterback position changes.

As far as I’m concerned, the most intriguing part of the arrangement was the payment structure. In the NBA, NHL, and MLB, it’s considerably more frequent for teams to absorb cap relief for the team a player is traded to than it is in the NFL.

According to reports, the Panthers will play Mayfield $5.5 million rather than the entire $18.9 million he was due. The Browns are picking up $10.5 million of Mayfield’s contract, and the quarterback allegedly agreed to take a pay cut that he can recoup through incentives.

The Browns would do this for a variety of reasons, the most important of which is leverage. Sam Darnold, the starting quarterback for the Panthers, has the same initial cap hit as Baker Mayfield.

Following the 2018 season, both quarterbacks will be unrestricted free agents due to the fifth year of their rookie contracts.

Baker Mayfield contract: Why did the Browns pay part of the 2022 salary?

The teams negotiating for Baker Mayfield were well aware that the Browns held little sway in the situation. By acquiring Deshaun Watson, it became evident that Baker Mayfield and the Browns were on their way to a rift.

Even as rumors of Watson’s suspension swirled, Mayfield made it clear that he had no intention of returning to Cleveland to play out the remainder of his contract. A lack of participation in team activities by Mayfield further emphasized this.

In terms of the Panthers, money was a no-brainer. With Darnold on the same cap, they would have been tying up around $38 million in Darnold and Mayfield, which is between Russell Wilson and Matthew Stafford’s money.

It’s also worth noting that Mayfield was handicapped last season by being injured (and playing through injuries).

The ideal storm was created when the Browns entered the quarterback market late in the game. This happened very soon after the Falcons failed to acquire Watson, as Russell Wilson had already been traded.

All things considered, the Browns could only ask for so much for Mayfield if they actually intended to trade him, and they hardly had a choice but to do so unless they wanted him to go for nothing after the season.

Current Contract

Baker Mayfield signed a 4 year, $32,682,980 contract with the Cleveland Browns, including a $21,849,440 signing bonus, $32,682,980 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $8,170,745. In 2022, Mayfield will earn a base salary of $4,858,000, while carrying a cap hit of $4,858,000 and a dead cap value of $5,000,000.

What’s in Store for The Browns in The Near Future?

Baker Mayfield

In spite of Mayfield’s $10.5 million salaries, the Cleveland Browns are in a team-friendly quarterback situation. Due to his suspension status, they only have $1 million in Watson this season before they have to pay him next year.

This season, Jacoby Brissett has a one-year, $4.65 million contract with the New York Jets. The Browns are shelling out a total of $16 million this season for their three “best” quarterbacks. In the short term, there’s plenty of room to grow.

This season will determine whether or not Mayfield’s contract expires next year, so how he performs now will have a direct impact on his future market value.

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