A very short list exists of teams who have the interest and financial wherewithal to trade for Baker Mayfield. One of the teams on that list is the Seahawks, who have recently been reported to have significant interest in acquiring the Browns QB.
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Seattle represented one of the most logical trade destinations once Mayfield’s trade request went public. He would bring more pedigree than Drew Lockand more upside than Geno Smiththe two incumbents currently set to begin the post-Russell Wilson era. The fact that a Jimmy Garoppolo addition would require an intra-division trade further pointed to the former No. 1 overall pick ending up in the Emerald City.
Speculation continued when it came out that Mayfield himself was also interested in Seattle as a destination, echoing thoughts he made public earlier in the offseason once his trade request become known. However, the sense that a deal could be coming soon (or at any point) could be unfounded.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport threw cold water on the perceived connection between the Seahawks and Mayfield. When appearing on the Pat McAfee Showhe said that he has heard “nothing to corroborate Baker to the Seahawks at all” (video link). He added that the Seahawks “have never really been that interested in him.”
There is a difference, of course, between teams like the Seahawks (or his other most-predicted destination, the Panthers) trading for Mayfield – and therefore absorbing at least some of his $18.9MM cap hit – and signing him as a free agent upon his release, or the expiration of his contract next year. If Seattle remains committed to their current QB room, though, as head coach Pete Carol has indicated they will do, attention will again be turned towards Carolina.
The most important next step is the Browns’ decision on how to handle Mayfield vis-à-vis Deshaun Watson. They will presumably wait until a final ruling is made on the latter’s eligibility to play in 2022 before trading the former Heisman winner, which will likely happen before training camp, Rapoport adds. Until then, this will remain a storyline worth watching for all parties involved.