The Cleveland Browns paying half of Baker Mayfied’s contract isn’t going to get it done

Baker Mayfield (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Baker Mayfield (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns are willing to pay half of Baker Mayfield’s contract and now we know why he’s still a Brown.

The Cleveland Browns have been trying to move Baker Mayfield since before the NFL Draft in April. Here we are, inching closer and closer to the third month of searching for a trade partner and the Browns are no closer to trading Mayfield now than they were during the draft. The Carolina Panthers are the team most interested but they’ve yet to pull the trigger.

This despite being “desperate”.

Here are heading into July and the Browns are no closer to getting a trade done with the Panthers or anyone for that matter, and now we know why. The Browns want an opposing team to take on half of Mayfield’s salary. This is obviously not going to happen. Mayfield is coming off an injury-filled 2021, where the team did him no favors by allowing him to play through a devastating injury.

They then spent all off-season destroying his value by claiming they didn’t want him anymore and preferring “an adult” as their quarterback. They then destroyed their leverage by holding onto him despite his request for a trade. Due to that, every team that may have wanted him went and found other players to play quarterback, leaving a bear market for Mayfield.

The Cleveland Browns are going to have to take more and less to deal Baker Mayfield

If Andrew Berry is content losing Mayfield for nothing in free agency then he should be fired for incompetence. There is no compensatory pick coming for a player who didn’t play in 2022, and that’s what would happen if Berry let Mayfield walk as a free agent; nothing. No pick, no compensation, nothing.

The Panthers have balked at taking $9 million back in any trade involving Mayfield and more than likely, have not been a fan of the attached draft pick price that comes with such a huge cap number.

If Berry is going to get anything for Mayfield, it’s likely he eats more than the $9 million figure significantly to around $14 or $15 million. It’s also likely he takes less worth on the draft pick side of things as well.

Since there’s no other team bidding, the Panthers are not, nor should they be inclined to offer anything more than the barest minimum. A late-round pick, a few million, and that’s it. The Browns have no other bidder, and that means they have very little choice.

Because compensatory picks are dolled out to the value of the player leaving, a guy who didn’t play will net them nothing, meaning $3 million in cap relief and a seventh-round pick may be all they get.

If that’s all they can get, then they only have themselves to blame for mishandling this whole situation.

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