Baker Mayfield is interested in potentially going to the Colts and Seahawks via a trade, per league sources. Whether they will reciprocate remains to be seen. The Panthers could also use a quarterback upgrade from Sam Darnold— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 17, 2022
It comes just a few days after the Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline first reported the same thing.
Of course, a few things have changed since then. First, the Cleveland Browns failed in their pursuit of trading for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. Then, Mayfield requested a trade, which the Browns are currently “not accommodating” his request.
Here’s what the draft compensation for Mayfield could possibly look like:
Speaking on value assessment: Perhaps a "2nd-rounder, or a conditional 3rd-rounder that turns into a 2nd" for Baker Mayfield, per league source.— IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 17, 2022
With Mayfield’s unhappiness in Cleveland, it makes a trade to the Colts more likely—although he’s also interested in joining the Seattle Seahawks, who just traded their short, but highly accomplished veteran franchise quarterback who Mayfield was previously compared to coming out of Oklahoma, Russell Wilson.
Mayfield stats in 2021 were very underwhelming, as he completed 253 of 418 attempts (60.5%) for 3,010 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, and a passer rating of 83.1 during 14 starts. However, he was also playing through a partially torn labrum, hindering his play—and eventually requiring late season-ending surgery.
His 2020 stats, when fully healthy, where he completed 62.8% of his passes for 3,563 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, 8 interceptions, and a passer rating of 95.9 during 14 starts is presumably a more accurate indication of his true ability.
He’s also fairly mobile, which again, would allow Colts head coach Frank Reich to run his ideal offensive system with RPOs, play-action, and the occasional bootleg to complement Indy running back Jonathan Taylor and an oftentimes, dominant ground game.
That being said, despite being surrounded with top playmakers and a strong offensive line, the Browns offense has never reached its true potential under Mayfield. It’s also a fair question of what exactly happened behind the scenes that made the Browns want to initially move on this offseason—or at least refrain from giving him one more shot after an injury-ruined 2021 campaign (although to be fair, they’re now in ‘damage control’).
He’s definitely tough and confident, but is he a leader in that locker room?
I’m not the one being paid the big bucks to make such a critical decision for a potential acquiring NFL team, but at this point, it doesn’t seem like a clear-cut one to make.
It’s interesting to wonder whether after the failed Carson Wentz trade, another former top overall pick with clear physical traits but presumably with leadership issues, that the Colts are even interested.