Panthers, Browns, Garoppolo, Darnold, Draft, Salary, Seahawks

Wednesday Baker Mayfield trade came after months of negotiations. It appears that the increase in Browns-Panthers talks led to an agreement in mid-June, but the ball fell in the quarterback’s court. Mayfield agreeing to take $3.5 million from his salary satisfied the Panthers.

The teams had closed this deal for nearly a month, according to CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones and former Browns GM Michael Lombardi (Twitter left† By bringing the slight pay cut to Mayfield, the Panthers pointed to the potential for the former No. 1 overall pick to make a difference by increasing his value for the 2023 free-agent market, Jones added. Mayfield, who was tied to a $18.9 million salary, could also recoup the money through 2022 incentives. Mayfield follows Odell Beckham Jr. in sacrificing some money to facilitate a Browns exit.

Despite the interest in this interconference trade,’s David Newton adds that the deal still precedes a Mayfield-Darnold competition. Mayfield preferred to win a training camp match against the incumbent Sam Darnold, who was chosen two picks after him in the 2018 draft. As for the conditional draft pick the Browns will receive, Mayfield’s former team will have to try and beat him to beat Darnold. The pick will be upgraded to a 2024 fourth round if Mayfield plays at least 70% of the Panthers’ snaps, The Athletic’s Joe Person tweets† Otherwise it will be a fifth.

The winner of this fight will take the reins of a Panthers team that could have a much better offensive line – one that added left tackle Ikem EkwonuCentre Bradley Bozeman and guard Austin Corbettwho chose the Browns one round after Mayfield in 2018 — compared to the 2021 version and a receiving corps of DJ MooreRobbie Anderson and 2021 second round choice Terrace Marshall Jr. The prospect of a healthy Christian McCaffrey has taunted the Panthers and their fanbase for two years now, but the former All-Pro running back is also returning to his place. Mayfield seems to be planning to round up Panthers skill players for a pre-camp workout, Newton tweets

At the draft, the Browns were unwilling to pay much more than $3MM of Mayfield’s salary. They eventually moved to $10.5 MM. The Panthers didn’t want to cough up more than $5 million for Mayfield, Albert Breer of tweets, which led to the request for a pay cut. But the Panthers managed to add a former No. 1 pick and resisted the temptation to hit one of this year’s QB prospects with the No. 6 pick – which became Ekwonu.

Although Mayfield’s pay cut and the Panthers agreeing to cover some of the costs will save the Browns more than $8 million in cap space, it could still spell a huge drop for Cleveland’s quarterback position — at least before 2022. The Browns have gone from a 2022 reality of deploying a healthier Mayfield to trotting Deshaun Watson — after a short suspension — face the prospect of Jacoby Brissett required for a full season of QB1 work. The Browns didn’t foresee a season-long suspension of Watson—which has become the NFL’s favorite ban—when they traded for him, and neither they nor Mayfield seemed to push toward mending the relationship.

As noted earlier, a Jimmy Garoppolo trade was out of the question for the Panthers. They had raised concerns about the 49ers QB’s injuries and, based on extensive bickering over Mayfield’s contract, they did not take Garoppolo’s $24.2 million salary. Carolina considered Mayfield an option on a higher floor than Garoppolo, according to Charles Robinson of (on Twitter† Wednesday’s transaction cost Garoppolo, who has had more injuries than Mayfield in the past four seasons, an excellent landing spot. The 49ers may now have to wait for an injury in a training camp to release Garoppolo in a trade. Certain NFL evaluators had expected San Francisco to release Garoppolo, whose base pay is guaranteed in Week 1.

Seattle would make sense as a Garoppolo destination, but chatter from the Pacific Northwest continues to center around the ongoing Drew LockGeno Smith contest. The Seahawks had “lack of interest” in the Mayfield acquisition, notes Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. While the Browns moving from Mayfield to Brissett represent a downgrade, the Seahawks go from Russell Wilson to Lock of Smith would surpass that. The Broncos who give up their first- and second-round roster for 2023 are giving the Seahawks options next year — which is expected to be a better quarterback draw — but the team seems on the brink of giving Wilson’s old job to a highly scrutinized passerby. to give.

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