The Cleveland Browns should swap Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold.
If you’ve been following Baker Watch 2022, you by now know the Carolina Panthers are the most aggressive name in the Baker Mayfield sweepstakes. A trade seems very possible, but the hold now, as it was during the draft, is money. Andrew Berry is playing yet another game of chicken with a team that has already walked away once. Will he do it again? Who knows, but I’m here to advocate for the trade, and to request Sam Darnold in return.
I swear, my intentions are honorable.
The Browns will move on from Mayfield by the final cutdown day, one way or another. The team simply cannot afford to waste a roster spot on a player they don’t intend on using. There is no compensatory pick coming, not for a player who never played in 2022, and the Browns know this. They need a trade to get something from Mayfield
Enter the Panthers and my reasoning for why Darnold should be part of the trade package.
Why the Cleveland Browns should swap Sam Darnold for Baker Mayfield
Any trade the Panthers make should be for a draft pick first and foremost, but the Panthers aren’t really doing that great with their salary cap. They have over $20 million right now, but if they get Mayfield, they’ll have about $6 million left. They can’t afford to carry both Darnold and Mayfield.
So demanding the Browns take Darnold back in a trade is, economically speaking, prudent. Attach a third-round pick, a fifth-round pick, and a seventh-round pick and you can at least show the Browns there’s something in the deal worth glomming onto.
So why would the Browns take back Darnold? Well, I have 28 reasons and counting, which one would you like first? Frankly, I would be flabbergasted if the Browns trotted out their shiny new toy for the 2022, or 2023 season at the least. I don’t believe we’re done with the accusations either. With women from Atlanta joining the suit, this whole thing could blow wide open. If we haven’t gotten there already.
Now, Jacoby Brissett is a fine man but he’s a pretty subpar quarterback. Is Darnold better? Not by much, but I would argue that yeah, he’s better. The hope if you’re a fan of the new starter, is that he isn’t suspended for long, if at all. You have to plan for that contingency.
Darnold gives you a guy who, if you rely on the run game, could maybe get you to .500 or better, as long as you aren’t asking him to throw 30 times a game like head coach Kevin Stefanski would do sometimes to a wounded Mayfield.
The move isn’t bad, as the money comes off next season anyway, so it’s not like you have to worry about cutting better players to afford him. He is not a starter in this league, and he isn’t someone you should be attaching Super Bowl aspirations to.
Yet, I feel like he’s an upgrade to Brissett, and with a long suspension all but a guarantee at this point, you have to ask yourself who you feel better with.
Brissett or Darnold. For me, it’s Darnold.