FOX Sports analyst Skip Bayless has begged the Carolina Panthers not to make a trade for Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.
After reports of urgency from the Carolina Panthers to get a deal done for Baker Mayfield during the team’s recent mandatory minicamp, nothing has materialized as yet. The quarterback is clearly surplus to requirements with the Cleveland Browns regardless of whether Deshaun Watson is suspended or not, but a less than robust market has made things difficult to find a willing suitor so far during what’s become an ongoing saga they could do without.
The Panthers were keen on making yet another veteran gamble in the trade market during the 2022 NFL Draft. But they could not agree upon the financial terms and particularly how much of Mayfield’s $18.85 million cap number Cleveland will take on as part of the trade.
This is a divisive subject within the team’s fanbase.
On one hand, moving forward with Sam Darnold as the starter after what he displayed last season isn’t going to heighten encouragement for progress. But rolling the dice and spending additional capital to acquire Mayfield can be seen as a risk even if the Heisman Trophy winner is a significant upgrade based on his previous production.
According to Mary Kay Cabot from Cleveland.com, the Browns are not interested in a straight swap between Mayfield and Darnold. Although the topic has come up in the event Watson gets a lengthy ban relating to his ever-increasing sexual misconduct allegations.
Only time will tell as to whether or not a compromise can be reached. Matt Rhule praised Darnold and Matt Corral following the conclusion of their mandatory minicamp, but the head coach did state that if they could improve at the position, it’s something the Panthers would be foolish not to do.
Skip Bayless does not want Baker Mayfield on the ‘clown show’ Carolina Panthers
One man who has been more supportive of Mayfield than most is Skip Bayless. The FOX Sports analyst has been steadfast in his belief that the former Oklahoma standout can be one of the league’s best at the position and when discussing the potential trade on Undisputed with Shannon Sharpe, he practically begged Carolina not to go through with their reported interest.
"“I have one request of the Carolina Panthers: please do not trade for my man Baker Mayfield. I don’t want to see him sent to purgatory. He’d basically go from clown show to clown show.”"
This is not the first time that Bayless has called Carolina a clown show. If things don’t start trending on an upward curve for Rhule and his squad, it won’t be the last.
Mayfield might feel the same. But the simple fact is he is almost out of options if becoming a No. 1 elsewhere is something the player desires straight away.
A motivated Mayfield arguably gives the Panthers a better chance to win right now than Darnold. It will also provide Corral with plenty of time to get himself acclimatized to life in the NFL before hopefully assuming command under center at some stage.
Rhule and general manager Scott Fitterer will likely sit down over the next few days and discuss the best course of action. If they are not entirely convinced by Darnold and feel like a middle ground can be reached with the Browns, then expect something to happen.
Bayless might not like it. But this represents the best possible road to immediate redemption, too.