According to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, the Browns will not include QB Baker Mayfield in a potential trade for Deshaun Watson. However, Cabot says Mayfield could still be traded even if they don’t acquire Watson.
A league source tells Cabot that the Texans want picks and not players, which is why Mayfield isn’t part of their trade package to Houston.
Cabot believes the Browns may have “up the ante” above three first-round picks for Watson in order to best the offers from the Panthers and Saints because they play in the AFC.
The expectation is that Mayfield should have multiple suitors should he be made available for trade.
Aaron Wilson previously reported that the Browns have fielded exploratory trade calls regarding Mayfield this offseason.
Cleveland has publicly and privately stood by Mayfield and does not plan to add a veteran to compete with him in 2022. It appears though they would be open to an upgrade if one comes available.
The plan has been for Mayfield to play out his fifth-year option in Cleveland in 2022, with the franchise tag available should the Browns need it in 2023.
Mayfield, 26, was drafted with the No. 1 overall pick out of Oklahoma in 2018. He’s in 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 will cost Cleveland $18.858 million fully guaranteed in 2022.
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.
We’ll have more on the Browns and Mayfield as the news is available.