Baker Mayfield released by Carolina Panthers, 3 potential landing spots
The Carolina Panthers are reportedly set to release quarterback Baker Mayfield , moving on from the former No. 1 overall pick just months after trading for him.
Carolina acquired Mayfield from the Cleveland Browns in July, dealing a conditional 2024 fifth-round pick for the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner. He beat Sam Darnold for the starting job in training camp but lost his spot to P.J. Walker later in the season.
- Baker Mayfield stats (2022): 1,313 passing yards, 6-6 TD-INT, 74.4 quarterback rating
When Walker went down with an injury, Mayfield temporarily resumed his duties as the Panthers’ starting quarterback. However, the 27-year-old returned to the bench after Sam Darnold returned from injured reserve. Following a quality performance in a Week 12 win over the Denver Broncos, interim coach Steve Wilks announced Darnold would start following the team’s Week 13 bye.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network , the Panthers are expected to release Mayfield and the former No. 1 overall pick will hit waivers on Monday afternoon. The Panthers officially announced Mayfield’s release at 11:36 AM ET.Also Read:
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After losing his starting job multiple times with two NFL teams, Mayfield is now being granted his release. Under NFL rules, he is required to pass through waivers before he becomes a free agent. The NFL waiver order for Week 14 is based on the inverse order of the NFL standings , with the Houston Texans holding the top waiver priority.
- Baker Mayfield contract: $4.858 million base salary
With a majority of his salary already covered by the Browns and Panthers, his expiring contract shouldn’t prevent any teams from placing a claim on him if they want him.
3 best landing spots for Baker Mayfield
Houston went into the season hoping second-year quarterback Davis Mills could build upon the flashes shown in his rookie season. Instead, the 67th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft lost his starting job in Week 12 to Kyle Allen. Unsurprisingly, Allen didn’t fare any better.
- Houston Texans QB stats (Week 8-13): 61.7 QB rating, 58.5% completion, 173.5 pass ypg, 6-10 TD-INT, 6.1 yards per attempt, 20 sacks
Houston is guaranteed Mayfield if it wants him. The Austin, Texas native is a texas Tech alum and was previously a star at Lake Travis High School. Headed into the 2023 free agency class, he wants an opportunity to play and the Texans could provide it.
In an offense with running back Dameon Pierce and wide receiver Brandin Cooks, Mayfield would at least have a chance to be a functional quarterback for a few weeks. It might be the perfect way for both sides to end a disastrous 2022 season.
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Los Angeles Rams
Matthew Stafford is out for the season and Sean McVay’s back-and-forth between John Wolford and Bryce Perkins is all the evidence needed to know he isn’t happy with the new quarterback situation. Holding the No. 3 spot in the NFL waiver order, Los Angeles has a shot at Mayfield.Also Read:
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There are a few reasons why this could happen. First, the rivalry between the Rams and San Francisco 49ers carries over into their transactions and the players they pursue. With Jimmy Garoppolo done for the year, Kyle Shanahan might want someone a little more proven than Josh Johnson and Brock Purdy. The perfect chess move for the Rams would be to block it.
Furthermore, Mayfield might give Los Angeles slightly better odds to win another game or two this season. Considering the Rams don’t hold their own first-round pick, tanking games doesn’t benefit them much. This could also be a chance to see how Mayfield would look in a QB-friendly scheme.
San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers have everything they need to win a Super Bowl except a quarterback. All due respect to Mr. Irrelevant and a quarterback who has played for more than a dozen teams, but the 49ers likely don’t advance past the NFC Divisional Round with either under center.Also Read:
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San Francisco is the perfect situation for a quarterback. Shanahan put Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Christian McCaffrey and Brandon Aiyuk together to make everything easy for his signal-caller. All Mayfield would need to do is get the football out quickly and San Francisco’s YAC threats will do the rest. At the very least, Mayfield offers a higher ceiling than Purdy or Johnson.
However, the NFL waiver order stands in the way. If the 49ers want Baker Mayfield, they’ll need 26 teams to pass on him. It’s a list that includes quarterback-needy clubs like the New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets. The odds are stacked against the 49ers. If Mayfield makes it through waivers, though, he then becomes a strong candidate to land in San Francisco.
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