Baker Mayfield urged to avoid the Panthers ‘hornets nest’ in potential trade

(Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield
(Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield /

Baker Mayfield has been urged to avoid the Carolina Panthers if possible as speculation mounts regarding a potential trade before the 2022 season.

Even though it’s all pretty quiet on the quarterback trade front right now, the Carolina Panthers might explore this possibility once again in the coming weeks. Training camp officially begins in Spartanburg later this month, so it would be wise to get anyone new into the building well before business picks up in Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns.

Baker Mayfield remains one of the more likely outcomes for the Panthers. The former No. 1 overall selection is not going to reconcile with the Browns and with options extremely limited, it might take some significant financial sacrifice from the AFC team to get this complication off their hands.

Paying half of Mayfield’s fully guaranteed $18.85 million in 2022 is something Cleveland is reportedly willing to do. However, this was not enough for the Panthers to rubber-stamp the deal and has been the major stumbling block throughout negotiations this offseason.

One suspects that Mayfield will either land on the Panthers or Seattle Seahawks when it’s all said and done. Although all bets are off if the Browns end up releasing the Oklahoma product in the not-too-distant future.

Mayfield should be looking for an immediate starting opportunity. Something the Panthers would provide given the doubts surrounding Sam Darnold and the fact Matt Corral seems more like a long-term option.

Baker Mayfield is urged to stay clear of the Carolina Panthers

This is an opinion not shared by Mike Sando of The Athletic, who stated on a recent podcast that Mayfield and his representatives should be doing everything in their power to keep the signal-caller from joining Carolina given the team’s current plight.

"“I happen to think Carolina’s not a good fit for him and I know Baker’s agents well. They are very competent people, they’re good people, they understand it too. I think Carolina’s a hornet’s nest cause I think the coach’s under the gun, I think everybody there’s under the gun. They’ve got an owner who’s ready to press the button any day now on a reset and if I’m Baker that could be messy and ugly. … That’s why I come back to Seattle being the one spot for him.”"

This might sound nice for Mayfield. But at the end of the day, if the Panthers and Browns agree on all aspects of the trade and the Seahawks don’t come in with a similar offer, then he won’t have much say in the matter.

It’s not like the Panthers don’t have anything going for them. Their offensive line should be much improved, they have an All-Pro back from injury in Christian McCaffrey, and one of the league’s most underappreciated wide receivers in D.J. Moore.

Rhule might be on the hot seat. But spirits remain high within the locker room and if Mayfield could make a telling contribution, things would be looking up at long last.

There is also a chance that Carolina stands pat at the position and brings on Corral quicker than anticipated. A major gamble considering what’s on the line for Rhule in 2022.

Mayfield has proven production and now possesses the biggest chip on his shoulder. It seems like a win-win for all parties, but whether it becomes reality or not is the million-dollar question.

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