As NFL teams continue to recruit new quarterbacks, Baker Mayfield’s status appears to be stagnating.
On Monday, the Falcons sent veteran quarterback Matt Ryan to the Colts, with Indianapolis reportedly Mayfield’s preferred destination after the Browns traded for former Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson last week.
With Watson now poised to be Cleveland’s future starter — accepting a five-year, fully guaranteed, $230 million deal — it remains to be seen where Mayfield will land as the quarterback carousel continues to spin at full speed.
The Saints, who were also finalists in the Watson competition, do not appear to be an option as the team re-signed quarterback Jameis Winston. The former first-round pick has agreed to a two-year contract with a base value of $28 million, with $21 million guaranteed, according to NFL Network. Winston is currently rehabilitating a torn ACL he suffered at the end of last season.
The Panthers, meanwhile, haven’t been shy about looking for a quarterback and could very well pursue Mayfield. Carolina could also focus on top quarterback prospects in the April NFL Draft, as they have the sixth overall pick.
Other obvious teams with vacant quarterback spots now include the Falcons, Texans and Seahawks, who traded Russell Wilson to the Broncos earlier this month. In the wake of Friday’s Watson trade, reports surfaced that Seattle could also push for Mayfield.
While the 26-year-old Mayfield may be the next quarterback domino to fall, there’s also a question mark hovering over Jimmy Garoppolo, who the 49ers have long speculated to part ways with.
Mayfield is currently returning from surgery in January to repair a torn labrum in his non-throwing left shoulder. His status for the start of the 2022 season is unclear which could potentially be a red flag for potential teams.
Mayfield owes $18.9 million in 2022 on the fifth-year option of his rookie contract, which isn’t too expensive in the NFL quarterback community. Therefore, teams might be intrigued by the idea of adding a younger, cheaper quarterback.
Mayfield, the Browns’ first-round pick in 2018, has yet to publicly discuss his playing future since the Watson trade. As of Monday afternoon, he remains on the Browns roster. But, as NFL fans learned recently, that could change quickly.
New York Post