Baker Mayfield needs to leave the Cleveland Browns. The relationship has gone stale on both sides with the quarterback seeking a trade and the franchise has clearly moved on since acquiring Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans in a blockbuster trade in March.
Shannon Sharpe, NFL Hall of Fame tight end and co-host of FS1's Undisputed, believes Mayfield could be considered a bust if the situation does not improve and he does not find a new team. Sharpe stated that teams in the league have currently given up on him. He said:
"They (the NFL) have seem to have given up on him as of right now, the good thing that's in Baker's favor, Skip, they're not playing football currently."
Sharpe did state that he was surprised that no team wanted to take Mayfield and believes the $19 million they would have to pay is a great price for a talented, starting NFL quarterback. He continued:
"It's coming down to, 'we don't want $19 million on our cap'. Now $19 million for a quarterback that's any good, that's chicken feed, that's peanuts."
He went on to say:
"Where are the players coming out on Baker's behalf and saying he's a great leader, he's a tremendous player, that's a big piece we gotta replace, like they've done for Amari Cooper, like they've done for Davante Adams."
He concluded by saying:
"He's gonna be in that category - Jeff George and JaMarcus Russell. You don't wanna be on a list with those two guys."
The list Sharpe is referring to is that of unsuccessful first-overall picks. Both George and Russell fell well short of their potential and expectations in the league, as could Mayfield if he struggles to find a new team.
Where could Mayfield realistically land before the 2022 NFL season?
There is a lot to think about if you are the Cleveland Browns in this situation. After trading for Watson, you don't want to be paying someone $19 million if they aren't going to play. The 2022 NFL Draft came and went without a trade offer being negotiated and a huge opportunity to resolve the situation.
Teams in need of a quarterback have now acquired one, with the Pittsburgh Steelers drafting Kenny Pickett and the Carolina Panthers drafting Matt Corral. After the Seattle Seahawks traded away Russell Wilson, they look set to give Drew Lock the opportunity to start come Week 1, which leaves a big question mark over where Mayfield could land.
A lot depends on the remainder of the offseason. All it takes is a long suspension for Watson to be handed down and suddenly the atmosphere in Cleveland could change. How Mayfield would react to such an event is a separate issue.
A long-term injury to a starting quarterback around the league could also result in the former first-overall pick to be in demand.
In the dynamic and demanding world of the NFL, you can be down today, up tomorrow. All we can do is wait and see what the future holds for the Cleveland quarterback.
Poll : Has Baker Mayfield missed his chance?