As the 2021 NFL season comes to a close, the future of Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield is on the minds of many fans and analysts. With his contract expiring after this season, there are questions surrounding Mayfield’s free agent status and whether the Browns will choose to keep him on the team. In this article, we will explore the details of Mayfield’s free agent status, his contract negotiations with the Browns, and the potential impact of his decision on the NFL landscape.
II. Is Baker Mayfield’s Future with the Browns in Doubt? A Look at His Free Agent Status
Since being drafted as the first overall pick in 2018, Baker Mayfield has been the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. In his four seasons with the team, Mayfield has shown flashes of brilliance but also struggled at times. As the 2021 season draws to a close, Mayfield’s future with the Browns has become uncertain.
Mayfield’s rookie contract, worth $32 million over four years, will expire after this season. The Browns have the option to pick up the fifth-year option on his contract, which would keep him with the team through 2022. However, they have not yet exercised that option, leaving Mayfield’s future with the team in question.
If the Browns do not pick up Mayfield’s option, he will become a free agent at the end of the 2021 season. This would allow him to negotiate with other teams to find a new home for the 2022 season and beyond.
The Browns also have the option to negotiate a new contract with Mayfield to keep him on the team beyond this season. However, the details of those negotiations are currently unknown.
III. The Baker Mayfield Contract Saga: Will Cleveland Keep the Quarterback or Let Him Walk?
As Mayfield’s rookie contract has come to an end, negotiations between him and the Browns have been ongoing. Both parties have expressed a desire to work together to keep Mayfield in Cleveland, but there are factors that could complicate the negotiations.
One of the main factors impacting the negotiations is Mayfield’s inconsistent performance. While he has had some standout games, he has also struggled at times. This makes it difficult for the Browns to decide whether to offer him a long-term contract and how much money to invest in him.
Another factor is Mayfield’s injury history. He has dealt with several injuries throughout his career, including a shoulder injury that required surgery earlier this season. This raises concerns about his ability to stay healthy and perform at a high level throughout a long-term contract.
Despite these challenges, both Mayfield and the Browns have expressed a desire to work together to find a solution that benefits both parties.
IV. Exploring the Implications of Baker Mayfield’s Free Agent Status on the NFL Landscape
Baker Mayfield’s free agent status has the potential to impact the entire NFL landscape. As one of the many quarterbacks who will be available on the free agent market, Mayfield’s decision could have a ripple effect on other teams and players.
Currently, there are several high-profile quarterbacks who are set to become free agents in 2022, including Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, and Deshaun Watson. Mayfield’s decision to stay with the Browns or go to another team could impact the decisions of these quarterbacks as well.
If Mayfield chooses to stay with the Browns, it could make it more difficult for other quarterbacks to find desirable landing spots on the free agent market. On the other hand, if Mayfield decides to leave Cleveland, it could open up new opportunities for other quarterbacks.
V. Baker Mayfield’s Free Agency: Why the Browns May Be Hesitant to Offer a Long-Term Deal
While the Browns have expressed a desire to keep Baker Mayfield on the team, they may be hesitant to offer him a long-term deal. This is due to several factors, including his inconsistent performance and injury history.
Offering Mayfield a long-term deal could be risky for the Browns, as it would require a significant financial investment in a quarterback who has not yet proven himself as a consistent performer. Additionally, if Mayfield were to suffer another injury, the Browns would be on the hook for his salary regardless of whether he could play.
Instead of offering Mayfield a long-term deal, the Browns may choose to negotiate a shorter-term contract with him that includes performance incentives and guarantees for injury.
VI. Breaking Down Baker Mayfield’s Contract Year and What It Means for His Future in Cleveland
As Mayfield’s free agent status continues to be a topic of debate, his performance during this season will play a significant role in the Browns’ negotiations with him. So far this season, Mayfield has thrown for 2,173 yards, 13 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions in 9 games.
While these numbers are respectable, they are not particularly impressive. Mayfield’s inconsistency has been a problem at times, and he has struggled in some games, including a Week 12 loss to the Baltimore Ravens where he threw for just 247 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions.
Despite his struggles, Mayfield has shown flashes of brilliance throughout the season. In a Week 7 victory over the Denver Broncos, he threw for 234 yards and 2 touchdowns while completing 73% of his passes.
Mayfield’s performance during the rest of the season will be a key factor in the negotiations between him and the Browns. If he can play at a high level and lead the Browns to a deep playoff run, it could improve his bargaining power and make it more likely that he receives a long-term offer from the team.
As Baker Mayfield’s free agent status remains up in the air, there are many factors to consider when discussing his future with the Cleveland Browns. While there are challenges to negotiating a long-term deal with him, both Mayfield and the Browns have expressed a desire to keep him on the team.
Whether Mayfield stays with the Browns or heads to another team, his decision will impact the entire NFL landscape by affecting other quarterbacks’ decisions in free agency. As the 2021 season continues, fans and analysts will be closely watching Mayfield’s performance and the negotiations between him and the Browns to see how this saga plays out.