Browns trade Baker Mayfield to Carolina Panthers

The Cleveland Browns have agreed to sell Baker Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers.

CLEVELAND — After four seasons in Cleveland, Baker Mayfield’s time with the Browns has come to an end. On Wednesday, the Carolina Panthers announced they acquired Mayfield in a trade, sending Cleveland a conditional pick for the 2024 fifth round.

According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the Browns will still pay Mayfield $10.5 million after the trade. Meanwhile, Carolina Mayfield will pay $5 million, with the Oklahoma product agreeing to take $3.5 million off his previously fully guaranteed $18.5 million salary.

“Baker Mayfield infused our organization with tenacity and courage during his tenure as our starting quarterback,” Browns general manager Andrew Berry said in a statement. “Baker’s competitiveness, tenacity and staying power were all qualities that endeared him to both our city and his teammates. He will always hold a unique place in Browns history for what he has achieved and we wish him all the best in his future career.”

Mayfield’s departure from Cleveland comes more than three months after he requested a trade from the Browns, which the team initially refused. But after Cleveland acquired Deshaun Watson in a blockbuster trade with the Houston Texans, the Browns made their former quarterback available, with the Panthers being the team most consistently linked as the No. 1 contender in the 2018 NFL Draft .

Despite the swap, Mayfield doesn’t have to wait long to see some of his former teammates; The Browns will take on the Panthers in Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season in Charlotte.

Wednesday’s trading ends Mayfield’s four-year career in Cleveland, which has been filled with ups and downs. After being selected with the top pick in the draft, the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner enjoyed a stellar debut season, setting the NFL one-year record for touchdown passes by a rookie (27) while leading the Browns, who went 1-31 went in the two seasons prior to his draft – to a 7-8-1 record.

However, Cleveland failed to capitalize on the high expectations the following season as Mayfield’s runner-up played a significant role in the team’s disappointing 6-10 record. But after another slow start to 2020, Mayfield bounced back to lead the Browns to their first playoff appearance since 2002, as well as their first playoff win since 1994 with a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Wild Card Round.

In 2021, Cleveland again went into the season with considerable expectations, only to fail again as Mayfield struggled during an injury-plagued season. Adding to his stunning play on the field, the signal caller, 27, had to endure adversity when star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.’s father posted an 11-minute video to his Instagram account showing all the times that Mayfield was missing opportunities to throw to his son.

The Browns later agreed to a release with Beckham, who had requested a deal of his own. The three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver later won a Super Bowl as a member of the Los Angeles Rams.

As the offseason began, there was no shortage of uncertainty among both the Browns and Mayfield when the quarterback underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. His request for a trade came as Cleveland was pursuing a trade for Watson, who may be suspended from the NFL after several women accused him of sexual misconduct during his time with the Texans.

But while the Browns initially denied Mayfield’s request, Watson’s landing changed the calculus of Cleveland’s quarterback situation. Should Watson be suspended for the start of the 2022 season, free-agent signee Jacoby Brissett is currently lined up as the Browns’ starter in Week 1 against Carolina. Browns trade Baker Mayfield to Carolina Panthers

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