The Cleveland Browns drama has plagued the NFL this offseason. Between Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson scandals and Baker Mayfield’s beef with the organization. It’s hard to determine which is more of a distraction. However, Browns fans can celebrate with joy that Mayfield has officially been traded to the Carolina Panthers for a conditional 2024 fifth-round pick, reported Ryan Gaydos for Fox News . There’s no secret that the relationship between former Cleveland Brown QB Mayfield and the team’s front office began deteriorating shortly after the whole Odell Beckham Jr. situation was dissolved. While Beckham’s father was wrong for embarrassing the Cleveland Browns QB like that, the facts still remain that he was making very poor decisions for the world to see.
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. Deal is pending a physical. All parties split the financials to make it happen. pic.twitter.com/xuTLqosmZm
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 6, 2022
Baker Mayfield to The Browns
In 2018, the Cleveland Browns drafted Mayfield as No. 1 overall. He proved he can be considered a franchise-changing QB in his rookie year. Turning the entirety of the season around after veteran QB Tyrod Taylor was hurt. He even help lead the Browns to the playoffs in 2020! Mayfield managed to defeat the No.1 seed in the AFC that season on the road, Pittsburgh Steelers. Mayfield led the Browns to their first playoff win since 1994 and to their first playoff appearance since 2002. The inconsistency of Baker is what’s caused many to criticize him so heavily with the immense amount of talent he’s surrounded by.
Let’s consider Baker Mayfield stats. In 2021, he unarguably struggled; however, he still fought through several injuries and somehow finished the season. In 14 games, he threw for 3,010 passing yards 17 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. Amongst other QBs in the NFL, Mayfield was ranked 25th overall. This makes him well below average and barely a starting QB in today’s game. He’s starting with a fresh start in Carolina with new scenery and coming off an injury.
Does the team have enough built around to help Mayfield succeed or will he be forced to make lemonade with apples?
Baker’s Future in Carolina
Is the Baker Mayfield trade the best thing for his career? The Carolina Panthers are by far a step down from the Cleveland Browns. The Panthers went 5-12 last season and finished last in the NFC South. After they began the season 5-0; however, once teams began to figure them out they began to struggle. It appears Sam Darnold’s time is coming to an end in the NFL. The team under his regime ranked 29th in points scored and 30th in yards gained. In an offensive league, this is not the recipe for success, and this is what Mayfield is left to succeed with.