Mayfield on the Move: Veteran QB Lands in Carolina
The Cleveland Browns have agreed to trade quarterback Baker Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a conditional draft pick, a source confirmed to ESPN.
The Panthers will pay $4.85 million of Mayfield's salary while the Browns will pay $10.5 million. The deal is pending a physical.
The Browns will receive either a fourth- or fifth-round pick in 2024, depending on Mayfield's playing time in Carolina.
The news was first reported by NFL Network.
Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft, joins a Panthers team that already has Sam Darnold, the No. 3 overall selection in 2018, on its quarterback depth chart. The Panthers also selected Matt Corral in the third round of this year's draft.
The Mayfield trade comes on the heels of Cleveland's blockbuster deal with the Houston Texans that landed quarterback Deshaun Watson. The Browns gave Watson a new five-year deal worth $230 million fully guaranteed, the richest deal in guaranteed money in NFL history by a full $80 million. Cleveland also surrendered three first-round picks in the deal, the first team to do for a single player since the Minnesota Vikings traded three first-rounders to the Dallas Cowboys for running back Herschel Walker in 1989.
The Watson trade effectively ended the Mayfield era in Cleveland. The Browns selected the former Heisman Trophy winner No. 1 in 2018 and he made his debut in Week 3 that season off the bench and rallied the Browns to their first victory in 635 days. He went on to finish second in the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year voting while breaking the NFL rookie record with 27 touchdowns. That record was later broken in 2020 by the Los Angeles Chargers' Justin Herbert, who finished with 31 touchdown passes.