(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Afr months of speculation, the Cleveland Browns finally moved on from veteran quarterback Baker Mayfield.
The former Oklahoma product found his new NFL home after the Browns traded him to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a conditional 2024 fifth-round pick, according to Ian Rapoport of The NFL Network.
The Panthers were initially reported as not holding a significant interest in acquiring Mayfield. The franchise’s mindset concerning the situation changed as the team doesn’t hold strong confidence that Sam Darnold can be the long-term answer under center.
Like Mayfield, Darnold is also in the fifth-year option of his rookie contract. The Panthers now possess two formidable options to vie for the starting job.
The move speaks more to the lack of trust that Carolina has in Darnold. Meanwhile, Mayfield holds the opportunity to showcase in training camp that he can earn the starting job.
He holds everything to gain in the situation while it opens the door to him making a case to make Carolina his long-term NFL home. Before the Browns moved Mayfield, the Seattle Seahawks were circled as a likely landing spot.
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However, it’s become clear that the team wants to give Drew Lock the first shot to prove that he can be the long-term solution.
Mayfield is a few months removed from shoulder surgery and won’t have any limitations in the offseason ahead of the 2022 campaign. Time will tell whether this proves to be fresh start that gets his career back on track and earn him the lucrative contract he desires.