As the Cleveland Browns continue to try and move quarterback Baker Mayfield, there’s been a running assumption that they might just decide to cut him so they can move forward with Deshaun Watson and a fresh start.
However, that’s not going to happen, according to Browns’ insider Mary Kay Cabot.
“The Browns have no plans to cut Mayfield, even if he’s still on the roster at the start of training camp in July, a league source tells cleveland.com,” wrote Cabot.
Mayfield’s contract calls for a fully-guaranteed $18.86 million payment in 2022, which the Browns would have to eat if they cut him. Technically, they would be able to subtract whatever his next employer was willing to pay him, but they’d still have to pay the bulk of that to a guy who has wanted out for some time now.
The most likely scenario at this point is that the Browns will hold onto Mayfield until an NFL team gets desperate, because of an injury or poor quarterback play, and is willing to eat most or all of that salary.
The Carolina Panthers reportedly discussed trading for Mayfield before the 2022 NFL Draft but got hung up on the financial aspect of the arrangement. The Panthers were said to have wanted the Browns to pay Mayfield $13 million, but Cleveland balked. It’s still possible a deal could happen, but there will have to be further negotiations around compensation.
Given how many teams would reportedly pick Mayfield up if he were cut, including the Seahawks and Steelers, it remains in Cleveland’s best interest to see if they can at least get something for him or find a way to cut down their bill.