The Denver Broncos trading for Russell Wilson nearly four months ago did two things for the NFL: First, it brought the Broncos closer to the top of the NFL’s best division – the AFC West. Secondly, it left the Seattle Seahawks with limited range at the quarterback position. Would the Wilson-less franchise hand the gig to Drew Lock – acquired in the trade with Denver – or look outside the franchise, maybe toward Baker Mayfield in Cleveland?
Mayfield’s on the market following the controversial trade that landed former Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson in the AFC North. And while Watson’s immediate future in the league is nothing short of cloudy, the acquisition puts the final nail in the coffin of Mayfield’s career with the Browns.
However, trading today’s version of the Punky QB is more difficult than it might seem. Baker Mayfield’s $18.9 million price tag sticks out as reason number one. His wonky shoulder and limited sustained success also makes sense as to why the quarterback hasn’t found a new home yet.
But CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson reports that Seattle’s desire for a quarterback other than Drew Lock could lead to another offseason blockbuster:
The idea of having talks about extending a quarterback’s contract before an actual deal occurs tends to mean it’s a foregone conclusion the hypothetical trade becomes reality. But the situation brewing in Seattle is muddy before anything goes final.
If the Seahawks so desperately want a capable quarterback, why trade Russell Wilson in the first place? And why acquire Mayfield now when he likely enters free agency next season, and the odds of contending are higher than the team’s odds of finishing dead-last in 2022?
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For Baker Mayfield, it’s unlikely he ever suits up for Cleveland again even though he’s still a part of the franchise. The organization burned that bridge in acquiring Watson from Houston earlier in the offseason. Baker Mayfield’s understandable and excused absences from Browns minicamp only served as a confirmation.
But Cleveland finds itself in an unusual situation ahead of the opening of training camp. If you have three quarterbacks with starting experience, do you really have any? Watson – who hasn’t played since January 2021 after requesting a trade from Houston before the beginning of an investigation into 24 allegations of sexual misconduct – likely faces a steep suspension from the league in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, with estranged quarterback Baker Mayfield unwilling to suit up as the short-term replacement for his long-term replacement, the Browns must rely solely on Jacoby Brissett. And with the length of Watson’s looming forced moratorium unknown, it leaves a team with eyes on playoff contention without a quarterback capable of propelling Cleveland to the promised land.