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NFL

Cleveland Browns trade QB Baker Mayfield to Carolina Panthers for conditional draft pick

The Cleveland Browns have traded quarterback Baker Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Update:
Baker Mayfield con los Browns
Thearon W. HendersonGetty Images

The fate of quarterback Baker Mayfield with the Cleveland Browns has arrived at some clarity- he will finally part ways with the team that selected him first overall in the 2018 Draft.

The Carolina Panthers will acquire him in exchange for a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

The two teams will split Mayfield’s salary, with Cleveland paying him $10.5 million this season and Carolina shouldering $5 million. The 27-year-old took a $3.5 million pay cut in the deal, but he will have the chance to earn what he lost in incentives.

Tensions between Mayfield and the Browns

Mayfield had a promising first few years with the Browns, leading them in 2020 to their first playoff victory in more than 25 years. However, he was later on beset by injuries and inconsistent play, and the Browns’ decision to acquire Deshaun Watson earlier this year further strained relations between the two parties.

Cleveland and Watson had signed a record-setting five-year $230 million agreement, even as the quarterback was dealing with lawsuits involving sexual misconduct.

Cleveland acknowledges Mayfield’s role

Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam put out a statement thanking Mayfield for his contributions to the team.

“With his fierce competitive spirit, he excited the fanbase and accomplished things that no player at his position had done in Cleveland for a very long time,” it read.

We are grateful for everything he did for this organization and wish him and (his wife) Emily well in the future.”

Mayfield will be joining fellow 2018 top draft pick quarterback Sam Darnold in Carolina, with both players on the final year of their contracts. Training camp will demonstrate which of the two will start for the Panthers in the coming season.

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