NFL News & Analysis

Cleveland Browns trade QB Baker Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield heads to the locker room following a 37-14 loss against the Arizona Cardinals at FirstEnergy Stadium, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Cleveland, Ohio. Baker's streak of 53 consecutive starts will come to an end on Thursday as Case Keenum has been named the starter for the Browns' matchup against the Denver Broncos. Bakertunnel Baker Mayfield CP Syndication Akron Beacon Journal


The Baker Mayfield era is officially over in Cleveland.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Cleveland Browns are trading quarterback Baker Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a conditional fifth-round pick.

The pick, which will come in 2024, can improve to a third-rounder if Mayfield plays enough snaps.

The two sides had been in on-and-off discussions for several months but failed to strike a deal due to Mayfield's $18,858,000 base salary for 2022.

In the end, the fifth-year quarterback agreed to take a $3.5 million pay cut to execute the deal. Cleveland will pay $10.5 million of his base salary this year, while Carolina will take on $5 million.

Baker Mayfield: PFF grade and rank since 2018
Season PFF Grade Rank
2021 63.6 29th of 38
2020 85.7 8th of 38
2019 74.8 17th of 39
2018 83.2 11th of 39

Click here to view Baker Mayfield's career in Premium Stats

Mayfield battled an injury to his non-throwing shoulder throughout the 2021 season, leading to a career-low 63.6 PFF grade. 

The 2017 Heisman Trophy winner is far better than people give him credit for. Since entering the NFL, his 5.8% big-time throw rate ranks fifth in the NFL, behind only Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes and Matthew Stafford.

Over his career, Mayfield has completed 1,185 of his 1,924 attempts (61.6%) for 14,125 yards, 92 touchdowns and 56 interceptions.  Only Rodgers (150), Wilson (149), Mahomes (148), Tom Brady (139) and Stafford (123) have recorded more big-time throws than Mayfield (117) since 2018.

With Sam Darnold, rookie Matt Corral and Phillip Walker on their roster, the Panthers will now look to Mayfield as their best option.

Mayfield requested a trade out of Cleveland in March after the team showed interest in acquiring Deshaun Watson. Now, he gets a new start and a chance at revenge — the Panthers are scheduled to face the Browns in Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season.

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