What an odd and difficult game to watch Monday between the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was the going-away party for the Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and it might have also been the last game that the Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield plays for his team. That idea of Mayfield leaving the Browns franchise sooner than later hasn’t been a real topic of discussion until recently.
Unfortunately, Mayfield had another miserable performance against Pittsburgh, and it has left the whole Browns fan base wondering what’s going to happen next.
Mayfield is still working through his rookie contract deal. The Browns picked up his fifth-year option for next season. The thought out there was that the team could Mayfield one more season to evaluate him and see if they’d want to dish out a pricier second contract. The team will owe Mayfield $18 million next season, so they really don’t want to release him. But could the Browns find a suitor to trade him to instead?
There are several teams out there that might be interested in such a deal like the Seattle Seahawks and the Las Vegas Raiders. A lot has been written about The Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson potentially wanting out of Seattle. Wilson has come out and mentioned a few teams he supposedly would be interested in playing for like the New Orleans Saints. The Browns have never been mentioned. However, would the Seahawks organization and their coach Pete Carroll who typically likes to make news make the swap of quarterbacks? As much as it seems extreme, the possibility is out there.
Derek Carr has had a long career with the Raiders as their quarterback. Recently they’ve been winning but he’s owed $19 million next season and is a free agent in 2023. Would the two teams be open to the exchange of quarterbacks? None of these types of conversations would be happening if Mayfield had performed halfway decently this season but he played a very subpar year. Some will blame all of this on injuries that Mayfield played through this season.
The injury issues have been and are a real sticky point with why this discussion of a trading Mayfield might be more of a probability than some believe. Something is not adding up in this whole issue this season and it seems like it’s becoming more obvious that Mayfield and his coach Kevin Stefanski are not on the same page.
Can that relationship be repaired before next season? Can the Browns go ahead and play Mayfield for another season, pay him the $18 million and continue to evaluate him for one more year? Or have they seen enough?
The off-season for the Browns will without a doubt be a very busy and talked about subject. It’s already beginning a bit earlier than most expected. Has Mayfield played his last game as Brown? Will his new Progressive commercials be shot at a new stadium? So many questions! Buckle up fans! The ride this off-season could have a lot of turbulence.