Jan 9, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) walks off the field with the team before the game between the Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

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Report: Browns won’t cut Baker Mayfield if no trade partner found

The Cleveland Browns would rather live with the awkwardness of having quarterback Baker Mayfield on their 2022 roster than take the monumental salary-cap hit of releasing him.

Cleveland.com reported Sunday that if the Browns can’t find a trade partner for Mayfield, they will not cut him, even when training camp begins in July.

The Browns traded for quarterback Deshaun Watson in March and gave him a fully guaranteed five-year, $230 million contract. But Watson remains under investigation by the NFL for numerous accusations of sexual misconduct and assault and could face a suspension in 2022.

Mayfield is fully guaranteed an $18.86 million salary in 2022, the final year of his rookie contract.

The Carolina Panthers discussed a Mayfield deal with the Browns, but multiple reports have said Carolina backed away from the table because the Browns were not willing to cover $13 million to $14 million of Mayfield’s 2022 salary.

Mayfield did not report to the Browns’ first voluntary program of the offseason last month. He said on a podcast appearance that he felt “disrespected 100 percent” by Cleveland when the team acquired Watson.

The Browns, who also signed quarterbacks Jacoby Brissett and Josh Dobbs as backups, could be without Watson for a significant portion of 2022 if he is suspended. Two Texas grand juries declined to indict Watson earlier this year, but 22 women whom he hired as massage therapists have filed civil lawsuits against him.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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