Baker Mayfield could end up starting for the Los Angeles Rams just days after being claimed by the defending Super Bowl champions. The former No. 1 overall draft pick is playing for his third NFL team, all three of which are paying a portion of his contract in the 2022 season.

The Cleveland Browns traded Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers in July. As part of the deal, Mayfield agreed to forgo $3.5 million of his salary for 2022. The Browns became responsible for $10.5 million of Mayfield's contract. The Panthers agreed to pay the quarterback just short of $5 million.

The Panthers released Mayfield at the start of Week 14, and he was promptly claimed off waivers by the Rams. Because Mayfield didn't clear waivers and become an outright free agent, Los Angeles is responsible for the remainder of his contract. Mayfield is still owed $1.35 million, all of which the Rams will pay.

Mayfield is unsigned for the 2023 season and will become a free agent.

The Browns picked Mayfield at the top of the 2018 draft and signed him to a four-year, $32.6 million contract. The deal was fully guaranteed and included a $21.8 million signing bonus. Cleveland picked up Mayfield's fifth-year option for the 2022 season but didn't sign him to an extension.

Mayfield's days in Cleveland were numbered once the Browns traded for Deshaun Watson and gave him a record-setting $230 million guaranteed contract. Mayfield was inconsistent during his four seasons with the Browns. His rookie passer rating of 93.7 plummeted to 78.8 in his sophomore campaign. After leading Cleveland to the wild-card round of the playoffs with a 95.9 passer rating in 2020, Mayfield had an 83.1 passer rating in 2021.

Injuries plagued Mayfield last season. The Panthers hoped that the quarterback would bounce back from shoulder surgery. Instead, Mayfield completed a career-low 57.8% of his passes in Carolina. The Panthers benched Mayfield on two separate occasions before releasing him.

Desperate for a quarterback, the Rams picked up Mayfield. Matthew Stafford is likely done for the season because of a spinal cord contusion. Backup quarterback John Wolford has been hurt multiple times while Stafford has been injured. Third-string quarterback Bryce Perkins threw for 100 yards and two interceptions in his lone start.

Los Angeles' Super Bowl defense has been a big disappointment. Superstar defensive tackle Aaron Donald has been slowed by an ankle injury and will not play against the Las Vegas Raiders.

The Rams are 3-9 and virtually out of playoff contention. The Rams have little incentive to keep losing because the Detroit Lions own their first-round pick in the 2023 draft.

Mayfield will enter free agency in 2023 with $48.4 million in career earnings.

Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield
Sam Darnold #14 of the Carolina Panthers and Baker Mayfield #6 warm up before the preseason game between the New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers at Gillette Stadium on August 19, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Maddie Meyer/`Getty Images