Cleveland Browns: 3 reasons Baker Mayfield is still The Franchise QB

Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

What other options do the Cleveland Browns have?

The truth of the situation is that even if the Cleveland Browns wanted to move on from Baker Mayfield, there isn’t a solid option out there to consider. At least not one that fits into the organization’s plans.

The 2022 NFL Draft doesn’t have a quarterback better than Mayfield. There are players with potential, but this class doesn’t have a Joe Burrow or a Trevor Lawrence. So that option is out.

Free agency is dried up as well. The best options on the market are likely to be Ryan Fitzpatrick, Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, etc. Like the draft, there isn’t an option out there that will be better than Mayfield.

That leaves the only tangible option as a trade. Could Cleveland pile up the draft picks and other assets to go get Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson? Technically, yes. Would that be worth it? Probably not.

Wilson has a no-trade clause and while Cleveland is a better destination than in the past, it could still be a hard sell. Not to mention the $37 million cap hit Wilson will have in 2022 that goes up to $40 million in 2023. As for Aaron Rodgers, he’s owed over $46 million against the cap in 2022 with a void year in 2023 at $33 million.

Once again, the better option is simply Mayfield. Mayfield’s cap hit in 2022 will be $18 million, a much more friendly number to a team that is playing it close to the cap with extensions to Myles Garrett, Nick Chubb, Joel Bitonio and Wyatt Teller already signed. Mayfield is also the most likely of those three to re-sign in Cleveland and stay for the future.

It’s understandable to look at other options, but the best choice for the Cleveland Browns is to stick with Baker Mayfield for at least next season. Mayfield has shown enough potential to earn his fifth season in Cleveland and try and prove what he can do with this roster fully healthy. Cleveland barely missed the playoffs with him battling injuries this season, so the future is still bright, if healthy, for both Mayfield and the Browns.