KEY POINTS

  • The Panthers were not amenable to picking up the large chunk of Baker Mayfield’s salary
  • The Browns could end up retaining Mayfield and weigh their options before the trade deadline
  • Mayfield appears to be the Brown's backup option if Deshaun Watson gets suspended

Roughly a month ago, the Cleveland Browns and Carolina Panthers allegedly sat down to discuss a potential Baker Mayfield acquisition.

But as most know by now, that deal never prospered.

The financial implications tied to the supposed trade played a huge factor.

With the 27-year-old play-caller guaranteed $18.8 million in salary, the Browns wanted to deal Mayfield to a team who would take on the large chunk of that money.

It seems that the Panthers were amenable but not with the whole salary.

According to Jonathan M. Alexander of the Charlotte Observer, Carolina wanted Cleveland to pay $13 to $14 million.

Doing so would have kept the Panthers’ obligation to roughly $5 to $6 million.

Beyond that, there is also the question of what kind of compensation the Panthers would send to the Browns.

If picks are involved, this would be telling on how much Carolina would have to account for as far as Mayfield’s salary.

The lesser picks mean having to take on a larger chunk of the quarterback’s salary. But the higher the price in picks means the salary would be lowered, NBC Sports reported.

Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer already mentioned that should there be a player available who can help the team, they will leave the doors open.

“We have the money set aside to make several different moves and that was important for us to do. We want that flexibility but if someone can help us, regardless of position, we’ll make a move at some point,” Fitterer stated.

As for the Browns, they are also aware they have the options.

With uncertainty in the air on whether Deshaun Watson could be sanctioned or not, Mayfield would be their backup option.

But the problem there is that Mayfield appears sore and may not play wholeheartedly if he stays in Cleveland for the coming NFL season.

A scenario like that would be more of a lifeline for the Browns.

They could keep Mayfield in the early goings of the 2022-23 NFL season and weigh their options by the trade deadline.

It all boils down to how the team and Mayfield perform once the season starts.

Baker Mayfield Baker Mayfield Photo: Getty Images | Brian Bahr