The Cleveland Browns are moving on from yet another quarterback, trading Baker Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a 2024 conditional fifth-round pick.
Despite being selected with the first overall pick in the 2018 draft just a few years ago, Baker and the Browns are cutting ties now that Deshaun Watson is in the picture. The Browns had been shopping Mayfield since mid-March after he requested a trade, unhappy about Watson taking over his role. Finally after months of seeking a viable trade offer, the Browns agreed to send the former Sooner to Charlotte for a draft pick that could turn into a fourth-round selection at best.
Baker will now join Sam Darnold in Carolina who was drafted the same year to the Jets with the third overall pick. Like Mayfield, Darnold was traded to the Panthers last season after failing to accomplish much in New York. After a mediocre at best performance last season, it seems the Panthers are going in a different direction now with Mayfield, hoping he turns the switch back to his old college days.
Mayfield dealt with injuries all last season, sometimes even playing through them, which could have impacted his performance. However, this offseason he underwent surgery on his shoulder to repair a torn labrum and shoulder fracture. It appears the Panthers are expecting the quarterback to make a full recovery and come back healthy ready to play.
As Baker is still on his rookie contract, the Panthers will only need to pay him $5 million, with the Browns covering $10.5 million. Mayfield opted to take a $3.5 million dollar pay cut for the chance to compete for a starting role.