Baker Mayfield has finally found a landing spot with the Carolina Panthers.
The move comes in response to the Cleveland Browns signing Deshaun Watson to a five-year, $230 million guarantee contract, despite Watson facing 22 civil lawsuits for allegations of sexual misconduct at the time of the March 18th deal.
The Panthers will send a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft and some crafty contract maneuvering in exchange for Mayfield.
To get down to the specifics, Mayfield was due to make $18.86 million this season. To make the deal work, Cleveland agreed to cover $10.5 million of the contract and Mayfield agreed to shave just over $3 million off his side, leaving the Panthers with a meager $5 million to pick up for a starting quarterback.
Not quite sure how that works out? Allow The Ringer’s Danny Heifetz to provide an anecdote in Layman’s terms.
While it was a move that was months in the making, that didn’t stop Twitter from lighting up.
Mayfield joins a quarterback room that already includes fellow 2018 NFL Draft pick Sam Darnold and Matt Corral, the former Ole Miss play caller taken in the 3rd round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
While some felt that Carolina got away with robbery in this trade, others were quick to criticize the long-term strategy of the Panthers’ front office.
Still, others leaned into the bit of collecting veteran quarterbacks in Charlotte.
In the meantime, the focus shifts to Mayfield’s new teammates at hand – namely, wide receiver Robbie Anderson. Anderson was not quiet about his opinion on early rumors of Mayfield joining the team back in the spring.
Twitter was quick to point out the potentially awkward locker room run in going forward.
Anderson attempted to clear the air at a press conference, claiming his reaction was in defense of Darnold.
Speaking of teammates, Kyler Murray, a fellow Oklahoma Sooner, tweeted his support.
Murray transferred to Oklahoma from Texas A&M and spent his first season sidelined due to transfer rules, while Mayfield enjoyed a dominant senior season. Murray clearly took notes as he followed suit the following year, and the duo became the first quarterbacks from the same school to win the Heisman Trophy and become the No. 1 overall pick.
The bond for the two pro quarterbacks extended beyond Norman, Okla. Like Murray, Mayfield transferred from Texas Tech after a “miscommunication” between the Raiders’ coaching staff. Mayfield was a walk-on at Texas Tech and, despite earning the starting spot his freshman season, it was speculated that he wasn’t going to receive a scholarship for the following season.
As Mayfield’s career blossomed with the Sooners, he became known for having a chip-on-his-shoulder attitude and allowing it to translate on to the field.
Needless to say, NFL Twitter was fired up about the Panthers’ Week 1 matchup against … the Browns.
What does this mean for Cleveland?
They’re not in the clear because they acquired Watson. The NFL just concluded its investigation of sexual misconduct allegations against the 26-year-old and a ruling is expected to be forthcoming.
In the likely event that Watson faces some sort of suspension, the Browns will likely be left scrambling to find a quarterback to start the season.
RG III’s answer? Jimmy G.