When it comes to the NFL teams that seem like the most likely trade partners with the Cleveland Browns for Baker Mayfield, it almost always comes back to the Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers. However, according to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, there’s an interesting NFC North team worth keeping your eye on.
Graziano recently spoke to NFL executives around the league about how the Mayfield situation is likely to work out and where he might end up playing in 2022. An intriguing franchise that came up in the discussion was the Minnesota Vikings.
“They’re set this season with Kirk Cousins but could move on from him after the year,” wrote Graziano. “This is an example of a place where Mayfield or Garoppolo wouldn’t start right away but could position himself as the team’s starter in 2023, the way Winston did with the Saints in 2020. That could be possible elsewhere, including with the Buccaneers, Eagles, Cardinals, Titans, and Raiders.”
It doesn’t sound like the Vikings are knocking down Cleveland’s door to consider trading for Mayfield, but it does bring up an interesting situation, especially if Cousins struggles early next season. The Browns are clearly willing to sit with Baker until they find a desperate partner willing to take on some of his contract, and the Vikings might be investing a lot in Cousins but also have incentives to move on from him if he doesn’t fulfill the hope.
Of course, the Browns might also decide to cut Mayfield and eat the contract. And if they do, there will be plenty of suitors lining up with the hopes of signing Mayfield to a cheaper deal to be their backup or come in and compete for the starting role.