Breaking News: Carolina Panthers Trade for Quarterback Baker Mayfield

It has long been known that Mayfield and the Browns were no longer on good terms. What began as a promising relationship between player and organization turned sour after the 2021 season. Mayfield led the Browns to their first playoff win in more than two decades in 2020. With key acquisitions and the return of many others, the sky was the limit in 2021, but as we know, things change quickly in the NFL.

Mayfield suffered a shoulder injury early in the season and was never the same. Opting to play through the injury only added fuel to the fire that caused the Browns’ season to go up in smoke. Then came the passive-aggressive shots between him and the coaching staff. Between the marginal play (due to injury), the lack of locker room camaraderie, and a strained relationship with the front office, it became a no if but when it came to Mayfield’s exit.

Many thought this deal would come much sooner, with the Panthers also looking to add a new quarterback. The problem with this year’s draft class was that most signal-callers need time to develop, which Carolina’s staff simply doesn’t have. Although they drafted Matt Corral in the third round, the notion that their shopping in the quarterback market was over soon proved false.

NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero reports that Carolina acquired Mayfield for a 2024 fifth-round pick, along with an agreement to split the finances regarding his contract. The Browns are taking $10.5 million out of his contract, meaning the Panthers only have to pay $5 million of his 2022 salary. A former first overall pick and player is certainly worth that compensation that has demonstrated NFL starting ability. One has to wonder how much the Browns might have wanted out of Mayfield, given the situation surrounding Deshaun Watson and the deal they reached.

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Now is the time for the Matt Rhule era in Carolina to show up or be shipped out. With a roster loaded with talent at nearly every position, Carolina believes they are just one quarterback away from contention. Questions will arise about what’s going on with Sam Darnold and what this means for him. With all signs pointing to the fact that they have their man in Mayfield, we’ll see if the team takes the next step in its arc.


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