December 2, 2023

There’s a new quarterback in Carolina. On Wednesday, the Panthers acquired former No. 1 Baker Mayfield in a deal with the Cleveland Browns, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones confirms. Carolina will ship a conditional fifth-round pick to the Browns that could turn into a fourth depending on when Mayfield plays.

While this trade is simply between two teams, it will have a domino effect that will extend beyond Cleveland and Carolina. Below, we’ll cover all the winners and losers who walked out of the most recent NFL deal.

Winner: Baker Mayfield

The ultimate winner in all of this is Baker Mayfield. He previously requested a deal from Cleveland as relegated Deshaun Watson earlier this season and now he’s getting his wish. For a minute, he There seems to be a possibility (however small) Brown is not trading with Mayfield and are hoping to fix the fence in the event that Watson is largely suspended due to his off-field issues. However, this deal now eliminates the possibility of an embarrassing/forced reconciliation.

Not only is Mayfield out of Cleveland, but he also goes down with the Panthers who have some interesting weapons including running back Christian McCaffrey and DJ Moore on wide, to go along with a strong attacking streak featuring 2022 first round pick Ikem Ekwonu in tackle left .

Financially, Mayfield agreed to cut $3.5 million from his base salary to help facilitate this trade, but he could earn that money back in the form of incentives, according to NFL network. So, Mayfield finds himself out of Cleveland and gets into a situation where he’s the start of the first week without having to take on much financial risk. It’s a win all the way into the previous No. 1 overall pick.

Loser: Cleveland Browns

There is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding Brown’s position below center. The NFL has been pressing Watson to face an indefinite suspension for at least one season. If the disciplinary officer Sue. Ruled by L. Robinson, this way, Cleveland’s cap at centre-back would drop dramatically. With Mayfield gone, Jacoby Brissett would be the obvious choice to start if Watson is suspended. While it may be an uphill battle to try to come to terms with Mayfield, he has experience in attacking Kevin Stefansky and would be the better choice of the two for Brown to be able to compete in Watson’s absence.

Meanwhile, a fifth-round pick that could turn into a fourth is hardly a devastating comeback. Brown is also reported to be paying a large portion of Mayfield’s 2022 contract. Per the NFL networkCleveland shells out $10.5 million from the Mayfield deal, while the Panthers will pay him $5 million.

Despite clearing some cover space and ridding themselves of a player who requested a deal, Cleveland are currently very vulnerable if the hammer is dropped on Watson over the next few days/weeks.

Winner: Carolina Panthers

The Panthers improved on the quarterback and it didn’t cost much to do so. As noted above, the Browns pay the bulk of Mayfield’s contract and Carolina only needs to send a conditional fifth player for the previous No. 1 overall pick.

Although Mayfield has seen some ups and downs during his four-year career, he is arguably the best quarterback the Panthers have brought in since Cam Newton’s first stint with the team ended after the 2019 season. – to the league in 2018, but Mayfield had more success. For their career, Mayfield’s 87.8 pass rating is much better than Darnold’s 76.9. With this talent surge, Mayfield’s presence should improve the overall Carolina crime ceiling.

Again, getting better at the sport’s most important position and doing so at a low cost makes such a move illogical for the Cheetahs.

The underrated part of this deal is the repercussions it will have across the NFL and specifically NFC West.

The Seattle Seahawks were one of the teams being linked as a potential landing site for Mayfield after they traded Russell Wilson for the Denver Broncos earlier this season. Currently, Drew Lock and Geno Smith are expected to push him to initially work in camp, but Mayfield would be a much better option than either of these two heading into 2022.

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Since Seattle may have to enter the season with Luke or Smith, the other loser in all of this is Jimmy Garoppolo. He and Mayfield were the two remaining quarterbacks transferred, and Carolina seemed to be the most logical place to land for Garoppolo, simply because the only other starting destination for the 49ers quarterback was in Seattle. Is San Francisco willing to trade Garoppolo within the division only to compete against him twice a year? Even if the Niners are willing to have the conversation, Garoppolo’s bid price will likely go up because it will be an inside split trade.

So, Mayfield’s relegation at Carolina is really the worst possible outcome for these two sides. Garoppolo is missing out on what could have been the clearest way to start in 2022 and Seattle misses the improvement in the quarterback at a relatively cheap cost.

Winner: Jacobi Brisset

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With Mayfield headed to Carolina, Jacoby Brissett is in line to start the Browns if/when Watson is fired. This gives Brissett another chance to showcase his skills for what could be an entire season. The 29-year-old signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Browns this off-season, and if he plays well in 2022 no matter how long he does initially, it could lead to a stronger market next year and be paid. As one of the best backups in the league.

Brissett has 37 starts under his belt throughout his six-year NFL career and has a career completion percentage of 60.2 and an 83 pass rating.

Loser: Sam Darnold

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Unless the Panthers turn around and trade Darnold for the Seahawks and he wins the job, the move almost guarantees that Darnold won’t be the quarterback in 2022. At the very least, he looks like he’s one and made a start in the Carolinas after hitting 4-7 in his 11 games with the The Panthers in 2021.

After New York caught fire, Darnold was traded to the Panthers for the last season and there was hope that the previous first-round pick would rebuild his league standings with this change of scenery. However, after a campaign in which he threw more interceptions than touchdowns and completed only 59.8% of his passes, it never came to fruition.

The question now is whether or not Darnold will be seen as a quarter of the starting caliber again.

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