Teams trading quarterbacks historically eat a lot of the contract
The reason Mayfield hasn’t been moved yet is that Andrew Berry still thinks a team will take a big portion of his contract. When Carson Palmer was traded mid-season to Oakland, they only took on $2.5 million on his contract. The Raiders gave up a first and a conditional second, but Hue Jackson was their coach at the time and was the driving force behind the deal.
When Minnesota landed Sam Bradford, they only took on $7 million on their deal but gave up a whopping first-round pick for him. Like with Oakland, that was a mistake. Teams are smarter now than they were a decade ago. You aren’t likely to see teams give up that much for a damaged quarterback ever again.
The honeypot is dry.
Both Minnesota and Oakland were trying to compete in the years they acquired their respective quarterbacks. Neither ended up having a winning record with them, and both trades set their respective teams back considerably.
So this notion that Mayfield would buck historical trends and land on a team, mid-season, for a decent pick and a large chunk of the money absorbed is a fallacy. The Browns might get a third, hell, even a second-round pick for Mayfield if he’s traded sooner rather than later, but that’s going to see the Browns eat $13+ million.
That’s the historical trend.
Right now, the rumbling before the draft was that Mayfield was going for a third. That draft number is likely to fall further and further down the longer the Browns wait. They’re not carrying Mayfield on the roster, and risk cutting a player they may need. The time is ticking.