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Baker Mayfield’s Next Team Odds Favor Colts and Panthers

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in NFL Football

Mar 18, 2022 · 6:37 PM PDT

Baker Mayfield warming up
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) warms up before an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Monday, Jan. 3, 2022, in Pittsburgh. Browns general manager Andrew Berry said Tuesday, Jan. 11 the team expects Mayfield to return as its starter next season and rebound after an injury-filled 2021 that raised questions about his future with Cleveland.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
  • Baker Mayfield will soon be on his way out from Cleveland after the Browns acquired Deshaun Watson
  • The Colts are favored to be Mayfield’s next team, followed by the Panthers
  • See odds and analysis on Mayfield’s next destination below

Earlier this week the Cleveland Browns denied Baker Mayfield’s trade request. Now, it looks like the Browns will be looking to move on from him as quickly as possible. That’s because Cleveland has just acquired Deshaun Watson in a blockbuster deal with Houston, effectively ending its relationship with Mayfield.

The former number one overall pick had a tumultuous tenure with the Browns, but he’ll be a hot commodity over the next few weeks. The NFL is loaded with QB-needy teams, and oddsmakers have pegged the Colts as the favorites to land Mayfield.

Baker Mayfield’s Next Team Odds

Team Odds
Indianapolis Colts +180
Carolina Panthers +230
New Orleans Saints +450
Atlanta Falcons +900
Detroit Lions +1900

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A move to Indy makes sense, given they just shipped out Carson Wentz to Washington. Cleveland would reportedly like to move Mayfield outside of the AFC, but much like Houston, they may be forced to trade their one-time franchise quarterback within the conference.

Each of the next four teams after the Colts on the odds board hail from the NFC, but none outside of Carolina seem like a reasonable fit.

Why the NFC Won’t Work

After losing out on the Watson sweepstakes, the Saints will reportedly look to bring Jameis Winston back. Detroit has Jared Goff under contract for three more seasons, and with another down year likely on deck, they should be seeking their next QB through the draft.

Atlanta also missed out on Watson, but would likely pass on Mayfield if given the chance. The Falcons need to blow up their roster and rebuild, and Mayfield is not the type of QB you want to attach yourself to for the next half decade.

He’s much better suited to play for a team in win now mode, especially if that squad has enough offensive talent to take the majority of the offensive load off his shoulders.

That leaves Carolina from the NFC, and although they have talented pieces on offense there’s reasons why Mayfield would be bearish on a move to the Panthers.

First of all, is there a quarterback in football that wants to play the Buccaneers twice a year? Not only do you have to go head-to-head with Tom Brady, but you have to face Tampa’s punishing defense multiple times as well.

Furthermore, Christian McCaffrey has had trouble staying on the field lately and there’s been plenty of buzz about Carolina potentially trading him. Without McCaffrey the offense would rely entirely on Mayfield’s arm, and that’s not something either he or his next team should want.

If Mayfield has any say on where he winds up next, it will be in Indianapolis.

Colts and Mayfield Are Strong Match

There’s a report already circulating that Mayfield has expressed a desire to play in Indy. The AFC South is arguably the softest division in football, and Mayfield would be in contention to be the best QB in the division if he landed with the Colts.

Indy is loaded on both sides of the ball, and feature arguably the best running back in football in Jonathan Taylor. Mayfield could slide right into the Colts offense as a game manager, feeding Taylor repeatedly and then capitalizing on overloaded boxes through the play action passing game.

Outside of 2020 when he led the Browns to a playoff victory and a Divisional Round berth, Mayfield hasn’t looked much like a franchise QB. He never threw for more than 3,827 yards in a single season and he never eclipsed 27 TD passes.

He played hurt for the majority of last season, but underwent surgery for a torn labrum in late January and should be cleared before training camp.

Cleveland finished with a losing record in all but one of Mayfield’s four seasons, but it’s worth noting he played for four different head coaches. Give him stability in that regard, an elite running game and a nice crop of pass catchers and he could flourish with the Colts.

Oddsmakers certainly think it’s a good match, as the news of his availability moved Indy’s championship futures from +4000 to +3000 in the Super Bowl odds.

Pick: Indianapolis Colts +180

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