The league is not looking to do the Cleveland Browns any favors in their pursuit to trade Baker Mayfield

Confetti falls on Baker Mayfield's statue Saturday during its unveiling outside Gaylord Family/Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman.CFB REFER or mayfield jump 1
Confetti falls on Baker Mayfield's statue Saturday during its unveiling outside Gaylord Family/Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman.CFB REFER or mayfield jump 1 /

It seems as though the NFL as a whole hates the Cleveland Browns and won’t help them move Baker Mayfield.

Pundits talk, reporters learn. It seems even though the likes of Steve Smith think the NFL has an issue with Baker Mayfield as a starting quarterback, it’s actually the Cleveland Browns as a whole the league has an issue with. No, it’s not a morality issue, the league has none. It’s the fans that do, but that’s not the point. When Deshaun Watson, and his 25 sexual misconduct allegations, got traded to the Cleveland Browns, the Browns had to make sure they could entice him to play. So they gave him a fully guaranteed contract that he’ll likely never earn the majority of.

This angered the NFL. Not a team or two, but apparently the whole league. There’s interest in Mayfield. It seems as if all those rumors are still true, with Seattle, Carolina, and others wanting the quarterback. Yet, the Browns are playing hardball. So the Panthers dropped out of the draft-day trade when Cleveland demanded that the Panthers take on more of his contract than they wanted.

Why? They don’t want to do the Browns any favor. The Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said they’re not looking to “trade” for a quarterback. Why should they be? The Browns will have to release Mayfield eventually or look like inept fools who couldn’t move him. The team has to get rid of his salary somehow if they want to continue to make moves this season. A trade where they save a few million dollars is more relief than they’d get if they released him outright.

The Seahawks know the Browns will have to release him. After all, why would they keep him around and cause unnecessary drama? So they can get a draft pick when he signs with a team in 2023?

That’s not worth the nine months of drama that will surely proceed it.

No, the league is done helping the Haslams and Josina Anderson is reporting that no one wants to trade for Mayfield due to no team wanting to help the Browns.

The Cleveland Browns cooked their own chances of trading Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield has said and done nothing wrong since the season ended. No bridges were burned that the Browns didn’t burn themselves, and no drama has been created from his camp. Sure, some close to him have spoken about a belief they had that the Browns set Mayfield up for failure. Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t.

What should not be in doubt is that they curbed his appeal. They dragged him through the mud all season by letting him make a bad call to play, damaging his market. Then they went after Deshaun Watson, only to fail, and have Mayfield demand a trade. Then the story of someone on the Browns management team saying they wanted to get rid of Mayfield because he wasn’t an adult hit the rounds. Then they got Watson.

They did a lot to destroy whatever leverage they had.

The right thing to do is to cut him. He did his job, got the Browns to the playoffs, and played through every situation possible. Most players can’t say that and Mayfield deserves the right to pick where he goes next. He no longer owes the Browns or its fanbase anything.

There’s no reason not to cut him either. The compensatory pick that so many fans keep yammering on about, that the Browns could get if he leaves in free agency in 2023, is dependent on the deal he gets in free agency, and the number of free agents the team loses as opposed to signs.

It’s very likely the Browns get a very late-round draft pick at this rate, and even more likely if Mayfield sits out a year. That’s two years of a non-healthy and/or non-playing Mayfield. Why would he get a major deal?

He’d get a one-year, prove-it deal, and that means the Browns would get a late-round pick. And for what? All the drama that comes with keeping a disgruntled player and looking like morons for not being able to trade him?

Haslam has already proven he’s got a sensitive trigger finger and not trading Mayfield may be the last excuse he needs to change the team over. After all, we know Haslam has zero patience.

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