NFL rumors: Browns down another potential suitor for Baker Mayfield

Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, NFL Draft

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Cross off the Carolina Panthers as a potential trade destination for Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.

With the 2022 NFL Draft rapidly approaching, do not expect for the Carolina Panthers to be the team that trades for former Cleveland Browns starting quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Ian Rapoport of The NFL Network reported on Monday morning that the Panthers are out of the Mayfield sweepstakes heading into Thursday night, and potentially out of the mix for him entirely. Carolina has the No. 6 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. This means the Panthers could be the first team to draft a quarterback this spring. Clearly, Carolina wants to explore all of its options.

At No. 6, the Panthers could conceivably select Malik Willis out of Liberty, Kenny Pickett out of Pitt or shockingly reach on Matt Corral out of Ole Miss.

Carolina Panthers not expected to trade for Baker Mayfield before the first round

Even though the Panthers are one of a handful of teams with a quarterbacking situation in flux, trading for Mayfield never really made sense. Not only do they have the No. 6 pick in a draft where upwards of five quarterbacks may go top-32, but trading for Mayfield would only make the guy the Panthers dealt for last year in Sam Darnold nothing short of a total redundancy at this point.

While the Panthers need to win now for head coach Matt Rhule to get a fourth year on the job, they are not ready to compete just yet, even if they play in arguably the worst division in football. Though Mayfield could come in and start right away for the Panthers, he would be playing on the final year of his rookie deal. If Carolina went with Pickett, they would have five years of control.

Ultimately, Carolina has always felt like a dark horse candidate to trade for Mayfield. While it is understood that his days in Cleveland are over, it remains to be seen where he will be dealt to. One would expect him to go to an NFC team, but with the Panthers likely out of the mix, who is going to trade for him? The Seattle Seahawks, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or somebody else entirely?

Mayfield may be dealt by the end of this weekend, but the Panthers are not landing him Thursday.

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