Baker Mayfield claimed off waivers by QB-needy Rams

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — The Los Angeles Rams have released quarterback Baker Mayfield from waivers, the team announced Tuesday.

The Carolina Panthers waived Mayfield Monday in what interim coach Steve Wilks said was a mutual agreement between the two sides. Wilks said Mayfield asked to be released after finding out he would not be the starting quarterback or backup at Carolina going forward.

The Rams will inherit the remaining $1.35 million from Mayfield’s contract.

Mayfield was due to fly to Los Angeles by Tuesday night and could play the Las Vegas Raiders as early as Thursday night as the Rams are about to send him the playbook to ensure he can study the offense on his flight, sources said of Adam Schefter ESPN. When asked if Mayfield had a shot at playing the Raiders, a source told Schefter, “There’s a shot.”

The Rams were the only team to claim a waiver on Mayfield, a source told ESPN’s Field Yates.

“To be honest, it’s all about acquiring talent and getting someone to come in and rate him, but also our offense,” Rams offense coordinator Liam Coen said Tuesday of the Rams claiming Mayfield. “Further assessment of the offense [and] the other players. Rather, it is about attracting talent. Just bring someone over here so we can continue to develop the competitive nature of the space.

“If it’s something that can create a spark and someone who can come in and help us win football games, then that’s the ultimate goal for the last five weeks of the season,” Coen said.

The reigning Super Bowl champion Rams (3-9) has lost six games in a row.

On Saturday, the Rams put starting quarterback Matthew Stafford on injured reserve with a spinal cord injury. Stafford has been sidelined since injuring his neck in the Rams’ Week 11 loss to the New Orleans Saints, a game he left after being evaluated for a concussion. McVay later said Stafford experienced numbness in his legs after scoring in that game.

Though Stafford is eligible to return in Week 17, McVay said “there’s a good chance” the quarterback won’t play again this season.

Backup quarterback John Wolford started in the Rams’ Week 13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, but was examined by the team’s medical staff multiple times during the game. He was listed on Monday’s injury report with a neck injury and was rated a limited competitor Tuesday when the Rams held a walkthrough.

If Mayfield doesn’t play, either Wolford or third-string quarterback Bryce Perkins will start Thursday night’s game. Perkins started the Rams’ Week 12 against the Kansas City Chiefs while Wolford was injured.

The Panthers traded for Mayfield in July, sending the Cleveland Browns a 2024 fifth-round conditional draft pick that could have been a fourth had Mayfield played 70% of the snaps. Mayfield hasn’t reached that mark this season.

Mayfield, the first overall pick in 2018, won the Panthers’ starting job at training camp after an open contest with 2018 draft third pick Sam Darnold. He went 1-5 as a starter that season and had a career low of 57.8 completion percentage and threw only six touchdown passes on six interceptions.

Mayfield, who started six games for the Panthers this season, ranks among qualified quarterbacks in the NFL’s Total QBR with an 18.2 rating, which is also the second-worst all-time among 521 qualified passers since the statistic began in 2006 for ESPN statistics and information research. The second-lowest this season is Houston Texans quarterback Davis Mills with a 29.2 rating.

ESPN’s David Newton contributed to this report. Baker Mayfield claimed off waivers by QB-needy Rams

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