Mayfield has been competing with QB Sam Darnold for the job, but it appears he’s captured the starting role.
Carolina still has yet to formally announce a starter, although HC Matt Rhule indicated that the decision could be made by the time the team takes on the Patriots during their second preseason game.
If Mayfield is indeed named the starter, he would likely benefit from the added first-team reps between now and the time the team opens its season against the Browns.
Mayfield, 26, was drafted with the No. 1 overall pick out of Oklahoma in 2018. He just finished the fourth year of a four-year, $32.68 million rookie deal that included a $21.85 million signing bonus.
The Browns exercised Mayfield’s fifth-year option which would have cost Cleveland $18.858 million fully guaranteed in 2022. However, Cleveland traded Mayfield to Carolina in exchange for a conditional 2024 fourth-round draft pick.
Cleveland agreed to cover $10.5 million of Mayfield’s salary with the Panthers paying out the rest.
In 2021, Mayfield appeared in 14 games and completed 60.5 percent of his passes for 3,010 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. He also rushed for 134 yards and a touchdown.