The Carolina Panthers are still viewed as the most logical suitor for Baker Mayfield, but they have not been able to find middle ground in trade discussions with the Cleveland Browns. It sounds like there is one issue standing in the way of a deal — money.
Mayfield is owed $18.9 million in the final year of his rookie contract. No team wants to pay that, especially knowing that the Browns have Deshaun Watson no and have no intention of keeping Mayfield. Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated said during a recent appearance on “The Rich Eisen Show” that Cleveland is will to eat about half of Mayfield’s salary.
“Cleveland’s been willing to take on a fair amount of Baker’s salary, like $9, $10 million,” Breer said, via SI.com’s Daniel Chavkin. “For people out there who think that Cleveland’s holding on to Baker as Deshaun insurance, they wouldn’t be offering to take on a pretty significant portion of the guy’s salary if they were looking to hold him until there’s more clarity in the Deshaun Watson case.”
Breer added that the Panthers will only trade for Mayfield “if it’s a bargain.” That likely means they want to pay a lot less than half of the 27-year-old’s salary.
The Panthers have continued to show interest in Mayfield. A recent report claimed teams have a specific price in mind that they are willing to pay, and it would require the Browns eating more than half of Mayfield’s contract.
Mayfield has been linked to another surprise team recently, but it seems like he is destined for Carolina. Though, more teams could enter the mix if the Browns cut him. If the Panthers believe Mayfield can be their starter, they may eventually agree to pay more of his salary than they were hoping.