A report has hinted that Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield could be on the move to the Detroit Lions in the near future.
Baker Mayfield is more or less the definition of being trapped at the moment given everything that is going on around the NFL, with a large portion of it not really his fault, which is perhaps the worst aspect of it.
Having brought the Cleveland Browns back to some form of relevancy in recent years, taking them from a team that won just one game in the two seasons before he arrived, to taking them to their first playoff win since the 1994 season, injuries and his performances last year clearly put the Browns organisation in a situation where they think they would be better without him.
As a result, they brought in Deshaun Watson at a very hefty price – 5 years, $230m, all guaranteed – and have been trying to get rid of him this past offseason, with reports suggesting that there are teams willing to take him, but the Browns won’t absorb enough of his contract to let him leave.
Then you have the issues with Deshaun Watson, which sees him facing 24 civil lawsuits for sexual misconduct, and if he ends up being suspended, then you imagine Mayfield would take his place back as the starting quarterback.
Still a possible escape route?
However with the ever-changing world of the NFL, now that teams are back in minicamps, there is always the chance that new opportunities could arise for him elsewhere. Perhaps a quarterback picks up an injury and need to be replaced, or a rookie QB isn’t as ready as a team would have thought and they want him to sit for a year behind someone more experienced whilst they develop.
And that is the scenario put forth by ESPN’s Dan Graziano. In a piece in which he spoke to a number of NFL executives about a number of issues around the league, one topic of discussion was Mayfield’s future, and one source suggested that a move from the AFC North to the NFC North could be a possibility, with Mayfield finding himself with the Detroit Lions:
“Former Browns general manager John Dorsey, who selected Mayfield at the top of the 2018 draft, is now part of the Detroit front office. He’s not the GM, but if he were to stump on Mayfield’s behalf, is it ridiculous to think Mayfield could come in and compete with Jared Goff? Or replace Goff after this year?”
A chance to work his magic again
The Lions are a team that you can easily compare to the Browns, a team that hasn’t been entirely successful in recent years, without a playoff win since 1991, but who are making moves to be successful now, with their aggressiveness in this year’s draft – trading up to take wide receiver Jameson Williams with the 12th pick – seem to be making moves to be a big player soon.
And having turned the Browns around, it could well be that Mayfield’s next project is to do the same with the Lions.
He would face competition from Jared Goff for his position who you would think would have something to say about it, but on the surface, it doesn’t seem too impossible to imagine on the surface.