4 options if the Carolina Panthers wait until 2022 for a new QB

(Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Howell
(Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Howell /
2 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield /

Baker Mayfield – Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns made the playoffs and managed to secure an emphatic win over the Pittsburgh Steelers once they got to the postseason. But the 2021 season promises to be a huge one for Baker Mayfield.

He continues to be a polarizing figure within league circles despite showing some improvements this season in a run-first offense led by arguably the NFL’s best running back tandem in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Mayfield emerged as a game-manager who makes the odd big-play here and there, which saw him finally start trending on an upward curve.

The Browns will probably pick up Mayfield’s fifth-year option.

However, what comes after that is still undecided.

Mayfield hasn’t ever lacked confidence, even from his days at Oklahoma that eventually saw him taken No. 1 overall in 2018. But if he doesn’t do enough to convince the Browns he is worth a longer-term stay with the franchise, a trade for the player isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

This would make the Carolina Panthers sit up and take notice if they can’t find a replacement for Teddy Bridgewater this spring. It’s undoubtedly a feast or famine move to bring Mayfield in via a possible trade, but thinking outside of the box is something they’re already doing this offseason if their failed trade for Matthew Stafford is any indication.