The Cleveland Browns may end up releasing Baker Mayfield, but he shouldn’t give a penny back.
I don’t believe the Cleveland Browns would be foolish enough to let an asset like Baker Mayfield walk. Be it at the end of the year, or come the regular season, the Browns would need to either cut Mayfield or carry him on the active roster, forcing them to cut someone else they may need. That would be foolish, so I expect a trade.
Mayfield won’t play another down for this team, and the likelihood is that Jacoby Brissett will be playing a lot, and I mean a lot of games as this team’s quarterback. He’s a guy who if you needed three or four games worth of football to be played, expect him to not lose a single game, but also not win you one either.
He’s perfectly average.
Due to Brissett and the change in offense, there’s no room for Mayfield, literally, for a variety of reasons. The Browns are not going to be so narrow-minded to keep Mayfield on the roster past a certain point at the cost of a roster spot. So if no trade develops with Carolina or anyone else, expect him to be released.
So when the talk of releasing him comes up, any notion that Mayfield should take less is flat-out silly and not going to happen.
If the Cleveland Browns can’t get a trade done, Baker Mayfield shouldn’t give back a single cent
I think the Browns will trade Mayfield eventually, I really do. They’re in this weird flex mode, however, and are at the moment, looking for a deal that may not ever come, but I think they’ll settle eventually.
It’ll be the season of settling.
Yet, if the Browns decide that no deal is the right deal, and they get past the trade deadline, the emphasis will turn from trading to releasing him. There won’t be a reason not to at that point, as they’ll be paying him for the entire year, and they can still recoup a roster spot. That’s when Mayfield should politely say “Money, please” and put his hand out.
Yet, Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports believes Mayfield should be willing to give money back so the Browns are incentivized to release him. The idea is that Mayfield would then get a chance to pick his team before the season starts. Except, Mayfield has no reason to give a dollar back.
Firstly, he earned every penny. Secondly, the market is pretty bear on Mayfield in 2022, but it’s expected to be bullish in 2023. That’s when New York (Giants), Miami, Pittsburgh, Houston, Tampa Bay, Indianapolis, and others may be in the market for a new quarterback.
As long as he’s training and healing, sitting out the 2022 season isn’t a bad idea knowing that almost a dozen teams could be in the need of a quarterback in 2023.
Keep in mind, after Week 8 or Week 9, the Browns will just be carrying him on their roster, and paying him anyway, and for what? It really doesn’t make sense to not release him after the trade deadline. It’s not like with Deshaun Watson and Houston where he was under contract past the 2021 season. Mayfield is a free agent and by the in-season trade deadline, if Mayfield isn’t moved, then there’s no point in keeping him.
This is why I say it might behoove Mayfield to just ride it out until he’s released; if he’s not traded. more teams will be in the market for a starter next season than they are currently. He’ll have far more options.
So Mayfield really doesn’t need to do anything this year but stay in shape and be ready to go. It’s up to the Browns to move him now, and if they can’t, well, that’s not Mayfield’s problem.