Panthers not expected to trade for Baker Mayfield before 2022 NFL Draft, report says - New Style Motorsport

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Unsurprisingly, trade speculation about Baker Mayfield has started to mount with the 2022 NFL Draft just days away. The week began with reports that if the Carolina Panthers try to acquire Mayfield through a trade with the Browns, it won’t happen before the start of the draft. according NFL Media.

Mayfield, the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, is still on the Browns’ payroll as the team determines his future. Given his contract (Mayfield owes a guaranteed $19 million this season after Cleveland picked up his fifth-year option), the Browns need to find a business partner for Mayfield, preferably one willing to take on some of his salary.

The Panthers are one of several teams (Seattle is another) that currently don’t have a clear starter at quarterback. Carolina is expected to select a quarterback with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. CBS Sports’ consensus mock draft has the Panthers using the pick to draft former Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett, who last fall led the Panthers to an ACC championship. Carolina can also choose to select former Liberty quarterback Malik Willis or former Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral, assuming neither player is selected before the Panthers are on the clock.

If the Panthers can acquire Mayfield, that doesn’t necessarily mean the team won’t use their first-round pick on a quarterback. Like Mitchell Trubisky and Pittsburgh, Mayfield could serve as a bridge quarterback for whoever the team decides to draft with the No. 6 overall pick.

Carolina also has Sam Darnold on her list. The Panthers enjoyed early success under Darnold in 2021, starting 3-0 before losing four straight. Darnold, who was selected two spots after Mayfield in the 2018 draft, then sat out for five weeks with a shoulder injury. He finished the season with more interceptions (13) than touchdown passes (nine) and failed to complete 60% of his passes.

Stability is one of the things Mayfield recently said he’s looking for with his next team. During his four seasons in Cleveland, the franchise employed three different head coaches (not including interim coach Gregg Williams in 2018) and four different offensive coordinators. Mayfield is surely looking to show what he can do at full strength after having to play through various injuries during the 2021 season.

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