This Steelers-Browns Trade Sends Baker Mayfield To Pittsburgh

Baker Mayfield, Steelers, Browns, NFL Rumors
NFL Analysis Network

It seems like a foregone conclusion that the Cleveland Browns and Baker Mayfield are going to go their separate ways. When that will occur, however, is anyone’s guess. Cleveland doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to trade the former No. 1 overall pick despite there no longer being a need for him on the roster. However, a trade should happen at some point and one team to watch could be the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Browns acquired Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans to take over as their starting quarterback. They don’t even need to hold onto Mayfield to be a backup, as they signed Jacoby Brissett to handle that role.

The quarterback landscape will have some clarity at this time next week following the 2022 NFL Draft and undrafted free agents signing with teams. There have already been some teams linked to Mayfield, with the Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks and Pittsburgh Steelers being the most prominent.

There have been some mock trades put together involving all three teams. In a deal with the Steelers, one floated proposal was Mayfield heading to Pittsburgh in exchange for cornerback Justin Layne and a third-round pick.

Denzel Ward’s contract situation was mentioned as a reason the Browns could consider a deal like that, but he has since signed an extension with Cleveland that occurred after that post was published. Out of the three proposals, the one with the Steelers is also the only one that the Browns are getting a draft pick back in return.

From Pittsburgh’s perspective, this deal likely is a non-starter. They have no incentive to trade players or draft capital for Mayfield. They know what the trade market is looking like right now and are more than willing to see how things play out.

If they are going to trade draft capital, it will be to move up and select a rookie on a cost-controlled scaled contract, not for Mayfield on an expiring contract with an $18 million cap hit. Desmond Ridder out of Cincinnati has been a popular mock draft pick for the Steelers, as has Pittsburgh’s, Kenny Pickett.

Should Baker Mayfield be released, Pittsburgh will pursue him aggressively. But, for now, they seem content with Mitchell Trubisky and Mason Rudolph as their quarterback depth.