The Cleveland Browns are trading Baker Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers, the Panthers confirmed on Wednesday.
Pending a physical, Mayfield will be dealt for a 2024 conditional 5th-round draft pick, which can become a 4th-round selection. Cleveland will pay Mayfield $10.5 million for the 2022 season, saving over $8 million in cash and salary-cap space, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. Carolina will pay Mayfield around $5 million, while Mayfield, who was originally owed over $18 million for the upcoming year, agreed to a $3.5 million pay cut (he could earn back what he gave up via incentives).
The move would officially complete an offseason break-up between Mayfield and the Browns four years after Cleveland selected the former Heisman Trophy winner first overall in the 2017 NFL Draft. Alongside the Browns’ pursuit and eventual trading for Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans back in March, Mayfield publicly requested a trade from the organization, citing his relationship with the team as “too far gone to mend. It’s in the best interests of both sides to move on.”
Carolina, who had been reported to be in pursuit of Mayfield at multiple points during this offseason, will add a quarterback to a roster that currently includes four slingers, including veteran Sam Darnold and incoming rookie Matt Corral.
During his four seasons in Cleveland, Mayfield threw for 14,125 passing yards and a 61.6 completion percentage, along with 92 touchdowns and 56 interceptions. Mayfield set the single-season rookie record for touchdown passes with 27 in 2018, and the 2020 campaign saw him throw for 26 touchdowns to just eight interceptions. He also helped the Browns reach the playoffs for the first time since 2002, and their Wild Card Game victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers was Cleveland’s first postseason win since the 1994 AFC Wild Card Round.
The Browns and Panthers are scheduled to play in Carolina for Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season, on Sep. 11.