Report: The Panthers Are Trading For Browns QB Baker Mayfield

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Report: The Panthers Are Trading For Browns QB Baker Mayfield

Chicago Bears

The Baker is taking his goods elsewhere.

A rare Wednesday afternoon in early July trade bombshell report from NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, who reports that Baker Mayfield is heading to the Panthers in a trade:

Along with the help from reporting with teammate Tom Pelissero, the word from RapSheet is that the Browns are shipping Mayfield to the Panthers for a 2024 conditional fifth-round draft pick. That return feels a bit light when you consider the importance of the position and Carolina’s need to get it right after fumbling the bag with the Sam Darnold deal. But Cleveland’s mishandling of Mayfield’s situation and acquisition of Deshaun Watson made for an untenable situation in which the Browns had no leverage in creating a deal.

It has been a wild offseason for Mayfield, who felt disrespected by the Browns after their acquisition of Watson set the ball rolling on this entire situation. Especially when Mayfield requested a trade, only for the Browns to originally turn down that request (ultimately trading him months later). And even with the uncertainty surrounding Watson’s future, Mayfield pretty much shut the door on a return to Cleveland at the end of June. All in all, this type of deal was inevitable. And for both sides, too. Carolina’s need to fill its QB hole was one of the NFL’s worst-kept secrets. To get him for a conditional Day 3 pick in a NFL Draft taking place two years from now feels like a steal.

In the end, I chuckle thinking about the Browns having no leverage in trading a quarterback who guided them to a bevy of firsts that happened since his arrival. First winning season since 2007? That was orchestrated by Mayfield. Team’s first playoff appearance since 2002? Mayfield, again. First postseason win since 1994? Yup, it was the Mayfield-fueled Browns. Beating the hated Steelers on the road in a playoff game? Uh huh, Baker did it. Now, the 2018 Pro Football Writers of America’s 2018 Rookie of the Year leaves Cleveland for Carolina, which is as desperate to get right at QB now as the Browns were when drafting Mayfield first overall in 2018.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.