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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Pros and Cons to the Carolina Panthers Trading for Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield is the quarterback who will lead the Cleveland Browns to a new beginning, or so they hope. The Panthers are struggling on offense and could use his talents, but risks include trading away their franchise player Cam Newton in exchange for short-term success.

The “baker mayfield height” is a topic that has been discussed in the sports world. The Carolina Panthers are rumored to be trading for Baker Mayfield, who is an NFL quarterback from Oklahoma. He is considered to have many pros and cons.

In the end, Baker Mayfield may owe Kenny Pickett a debt of gratitude for helping him avoid being cut by the Cleveland Browns.

After months of speculation, the Carolina Panthers passed on Pickett, the top quarterback prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft, in favor of North Carolina State offensive lineman Ikem “Ickey” Ekwonu. Pickett, a New Jersey native who spent the previous five seasons with the Pittsburgh Panthers, was selected with the 20th overall choice by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

What does Mayfield have to do with any of this? Because the Panthers passed on Pickett at No. 6, the two-time NFC champs are still looking for a quarterback, and something tells us there are better choices out there than Cam Newton.

Could the Panthers’ decision to pass on a quarterback at No. 6 indicate that they are willing to trade Mayfield to the Browns? What’s more, should the five-time NFC South champs make such a switch?

Advantages: Baker Mayfield is a better quarterback than Sam Darnold, which may be enough.

Throughout Sam Darnold’s four seasons, he has shown flashes of becoming a capable NFL quarterback. In such situations, he’s shown why the New York Jets selected him third overall in 2018.

Unfortunately, just as a broken clock is correct twice a day, the great majority of quarterbacks are doomed to appear sharp one or three times every season.

What about the rest of the time?

Darnold is a turnover-prone quarterback who seems to lack confidence and trust in himself at this point in his career. That’s who he is, and if a change of scenery didn’t work last year, there’s no reason to think he’ll change his mind any time soon.

Mayfield still carries himself with moxie and a winning style, even if he isn’t the same confident quarterback he was at Oklahoma. Because of his game-management talents and fewer turnovers, the Oklahoma product helped lead the Browns to the playoffs in 2020. Even if he didn’t light up the scoreboards or cut through defenses like Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady, the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner’s effect on the Browns’ return to significance could not be denied.

Is that reason enough for the Panthers to make a deal for Baker Mayfield? Well…

Cons: Carolina may be overwhelmed by the financial information.

The Panthers have a salary cap space of more than $30 million. This season, Sam Darnold will earn a fully guaranteed $18.9 million (fifth-year option).

Just some context for any trade rumors involving Jimmy Garoppolo and Baker Mayfield.

— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) April 29, 2022

The Browns guaranteed Mayfield’s $18.9 (or, technically, $18.86) million 2022 salary when they picked up his fifth-year option ahead of the 2021 season. Darnold, who was selected two choices after Mayfield in 2018, will receive a guaranteed salary of $18.85 million.

If you’re not a Mayfield fan, it means the Panthers might end up paying two terrible quarterbacks roughly $40 million in guaranteed money next season.

Even if the Panthers are interested in Mayfield, there’s no assurance that the Browns would eat any of the $18.9 million. We also don’t know whether Carolina will attempt to absorb a portion of Darnold’s large guaranteed contract by trading him.

The Panthers should never have guaranteed Darnold’s fifth-year option in retrospect. Had he genuinely shown enough in his three seasons with the Jets to justify such a move?

The fact that we have to ask the question at all should be considered a response.

Should the Panthers make a deal to get Baker Mayfield?

Should Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield be acquired from the Cleveland Browns? | Jason Miller/Getty Images

Shortly before the 2022 NFL Draft, Panthers receiver Robby Anderson made it clear he didn’t want the team to acquire Mayfield. Although we don’t share exactly the same sentiment, we do agree Carolina shouldn’t bother seeing how the 27-year-old looks in blue and white.

The Panthers, right or wrong, pushed themselves into a box by guaranteeing Darnold’s contract until 2022. Carolina may be stuck with the fifth-year quarterback even if he is ultimately demoted to third-string position since that money needs to be paid.

It’s a shame for Mayfield, since he’s shown himself to be a capable and consistent starting quarterback. If the Panthers are just a quarterback away from making the playoffs, having someone who has actually won a postseason game around would surely help.

No, this does not imply that the Panthers should re-sign Newton. Enough with that notion. Carolina would be better suited hoping for a chance to draft Alabama’s Bryce Young or Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud in 2023.

Remember, kids: if it means Bryce Young, losing is great.

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