The Cleveland Browns traded Baker Mayfield for a fifth-round conditional draft pick to the Carolina Panthers. If Mayfield and Christian McCaffrey (star running back) are included, this seems like an incredible deal for the Panthers. Moore, Robby Anderson and Terrace Marshall can co-exist to lead the team into the playoffs.
A new QB in Carolina: The #Panthers are acquiring former No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield from the #Browns for a 2024 conditional 5th-round draft pick, sources tell me and @TomPelissero. The deal is subject to a physical. The financials will be split by both parties. pic.twitter.com/xuTLqosmZm
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 6, 2022
This trade alone will not put the Panthers on top — unless Mayfield shows improvements in his game and looks like the Mayfield we saw in college with the Oklahoma Sooners. The Panthers are only giving up one fifth-round draft pick, so they can keep their rest of the team intact.
As for the Browns, current starting quarterback Deshaun Watson could be facing a potential suspension, due to civil lawsuits accusing Watson of coercive and lewd behavior. They will continue without Mayfield, regardless of whether Watson is suspended. Jacoby Brissett, if Watson is suspended (which is most likely), will take over as the Browns’ starting quarterback. Browns figured Brissett would be a better choice than Mayfield to lead their Browns team.
During his career with the Browns, Mayfield threw for 14,125 yards, 92 touchdowns, and 56 interceptions. Mayfield has played in 60 games so far, starting in 59 of those games. The Browns had 29 wins and 30 losses when Mayfield was the starting quarterback.
Jacoby Brissett, throughout his career, has thrown for 7,742 yards, 36 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions. He has played in 60 games thus far, starting in just 37 games. Brissett has a record of 14 wins and 23 losses as the starting quarterback.
While it is not clear how significant an upgrade this trade will bring to the Browns’ roster, they didn’t get much for Mayfield. The Browns’ running backs Nick Chubb (running back) and Kareem Hunter (running back), will be their primary players until Watson is ready to return to action. While the Browns gained wide receiver Amari Cooper during the offseason while Jarvis Landry was out injured, Cooper could see a decrease in production with Brissett at quarterback. The Browns may need to heavily depend on the running game if Brissett is the quarterback.
The Panthers’ star running back Christian McCaffrey has been a great player. McCaffrey should see 15-20 touches (rush attempts and pass targets) per game, which should help Mayfield, especially at the beginning of games, get in a rhythm. Mayfield has D.J. as his wide receiver. Moore is followed by Robby Anderson and Terrace Marshall. Mayfield could lead the team to the playoffs with enough talent.
The Panthers open their season in Carolina against the Browns.