Making the case why Baker Mayfield should be Seahawks QB of the future
How Seahawks gets Baker
So if we’re making the case for Baker Mayfield to become the Seattle Seahawks’ next franchise quarterback, how exactly is Seattle going to get him on the team?
We know that Cleveland has given up on him, deciding to trade a massive draft haul to the Houston Texans for quarterback Deshaun Watson, and signed him to the second-largest contract in NFL, despite 23 reasons that is a really bad idea.
So while Deshaun Watson could face a suspension that could range from a few games to the whole season, Cleveland could conceivably ask Baker to retake the reins he technically never lost for one more season. Judging by what we have seen and heard from Baker so far, I don’t think that is very likely.
Cleveland also signed solid veteran QB Jacoby Brissett to the roster, with the idea Baker may refuse to participate or play for the Browns anymore. I believe Baker has played his last down for the brown and orange.
Expecting to be traded before the draft, almost every team in the league has their quarterback situation resolved or at least locked in for the 2022 season. The only true options here are the Seahawks and the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers have fellow 2018 draftee Sam Darnold as the embattled incumbent starter, while they also drafted Ole Miss QB Matt Corral in the 3rd round of this draft.
Panthers coach Matt Rhule is in a do-or-die third season and he could be persuaded to make a deal, but they haven’t so far and I attribute that to their financial mistake of extending Sam Darnold last year. It appears a desperate coach and front office in Carolina are not going to pull the trigger.
Seattle, on the other hand, is holding all the cards in this hand. They have an established leadership team that is valued by the franchise over their previous star quarterback. They are comfortable playing this season with Geno Smith or Drew Lock, but that doesn’t mean they’re not in on Baker Mayfield.
The reality is that Baker’s $18 million dollar cap hit this season is a huge undertaking for any team at this point in the off-season. Seattle would have to cut multiple players to fit his salary onto their roster.
There is no trade for Baker to get out of Cleveland. The only way they can get out of the deal is by attaching draft picks and eating some of that salary. I can only see him being traded if there is an injury.
With no trade likely, Seattle can simply wait for Baker to kick and scream his way out. They may have rejected his trade request, but that doesn’t mean they’d reject his release, especially if his presence, or lack thereof, cause more harm than the Browns can handle.
In the event of a release, it is expected Seattle would sign the QB within days, giving him a one-year deal with a few incentives for starts and wins, but likely nothing significant.
The deal would allow him the first opportunity at being the starter, while also leaving the door open for Geno and Lock to get their shot if Baker falters.