What’s subsequent for Baker Mayfield after being launched by Panthers?

When the the Carolina Panthers agreed in July to ship a conditional 2024 draft choose to the Cleveland Browns for quarterback Baker Mayfield, the No. 1 general choose within the 2018 NFL draft, they have been hoping to resurrect his profession.

The renaissance did not occur, and it wasn’t even shut.

Mayfield went 1-5 because the starter and was on track for profession lows in each main statistical class, together with a 16.8 Total QBR that ranked final within the league. That led to his release on Monday, with the Panthers (4-8) set to go together with Sam Darnold and PJ Walker as their high quarterbacks for the remainder of the season.

Mayfield requested to be waived, however he possible would have been launched quickly anyway. The timing might be good with the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens presumably available in the market for a veteran quarterback after Sunday, because the 49ers misplaced Jimmy Garoppolo (broken left foot) for the remainder of the season and the Ravens might be with out Lamar Jackson (left knee) for some time.

In phrases of the Panthers, all his launch did was assure the conditional choose from Cleveland might be a fifth-rounder as a substitute of a fourth-rounder, since Mayfield did not play 70% of the snaps this season.

It additionally assured they’re nonetheless looking for their franchise quarterback.

ESPN thought-about a number of remaining questions surrounding Mayfield:

Why did not it work out for Mayfield in Carolina?

He did not win. It’s that easy.

You might argue the Panthers did not play to Mayfield’s strengths just like the Browns did in 2020 after they dedicated to the working sport to take stress off the quarterback. That kind of a dedication did not come till after interim coach Steve Wilks changed head coach Matt Rhule, who was fired after a 1-4 begin with Mayfield.

But even with a dedication to the run in Mayfield’s solely begin below Wilks, the quarterback did not reply. He was 21-of-33 for 196 yards and two interceptions in a 13-3 loss at Baltimore. That sealed his destiny, if it wasn’t sealed earlier than then. Management possible knew at that time Mayfield would not be part of their long-term plans. Darnold nonetheless has an opportunity to be, so that they lower bait and moved on from Mayfield. — David Newton

Why did the Panthers launch him now?

The timing was the plan all alongside as soon as it was clear Walker (ankle) was able to return from an ankle sprain to again up Darnold. That would have made Mayfield inactive the remainder of the season, and it did not profit both aspect for that to occur. That Mayfield requested for his launch did not actually change issues, however it did make him out there in case the 49ers, Ravens or one other crew needing quarterback assist desires to gamble on him down the stretch.

The Panthers agreed to pay $4.858 million of Mayfield’s $18.8 2022 wage after they traded for him. Mayfield agreed to take a $3.5 million lower on the rest of his wage with incentives in his contract to earn that again. He by no means got here near reaching these, and he’ll be a free agent in the course of the offseason. — David Newton

Would the injury-depleted San Francisco 49ers take into account signing Mayfield?

Given that the Niners are already right down to their No. 3 quarterback — seventh-round choose Brock Purdy — after season-ending accidents to Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo, they’ve to think about each out there possibility. That consists of Mayfield. Purdy goes to be the starter transferring ahead, regardless, however the Niners have to find out if Mayfield can be a match as a backup.

San Francisco already added Josh Johnson, not less than partially due to his familiarity with the offense from his time with the crew in 2020. Mayfield performed in a model of coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense with the Cleveland Browns, however might he make amends for the verbiage sufficient to be an improve over Johnson within the close to future?

There can be locker room match to think about. Mayfield hasn’t precisely endeared himself to key Niners, together with defensive finish Nick Bosa, who has some bad blood with Mayfield that dates again to school. It’s additionally not completely within the Niners’ management, as they sit No. 24 within the waiver order and different quarterback-needy groups are in entrance of them. It’s doable a kind of groups might take into account claiming Mayfield, which might set off a domino impact that makes one other quarterback out there whom the Niners may need. — Nick Wagoner

Is there a marketplace for Mayfield past the 49ers now or within the offseason?

Mayfield’s market isn’t precisely magma sizzling. His stint in Carolina was speculated to reset his profession as a springboard into free company this offseason, however it most likely harm his case as a consequence of accuracy points (career-low 57.8% completion proportion in 2022).

Teams I’ve talked to say his days as an NFL starter might be numbered. But a number of groups might be fully beginning over at quarterback, together with the New Orleans Saints, Washington Commanders, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets and New York Giants. There might be jobs out there. But he is low on the free agent pecking order.

Lamar Jackson, Tom Brady, Garoppolo, Geno Smith and Daniel Jones are atop the upcoming free agent class, adopted by stable backups comparable to Teddy Bridgewater and Jacoby Brissett. Supply and demand will harm his case. — Jeremy Fowler

What are the Panthers’ quarterback choices heading into 2023?

The draft.

They’re possible a top-10 choose, perhaps a top-five choice, and this can be a robust quarterback class.

General supervisor Scott Fitterer says one of the simplest ways to make sure long-term stability at quarterback, significantly from the monetary aspect, is thru the draft. And they nonetheless have final yr’s third-round choose, Matt Corral, who has spent his rookie season on IR with a Lisfranc harm in his left foot.

Having stated that, the Panthers might carry again Darnold as a bridge quarterback as they develop a draft choose and/or Corral, if he agrees to backup cash. They might embody Walker in these plans as effectively.

But it is clear neither is a long-term repair for an issue that has plagued this crew since Cam Newton started having harm points halfway by means of the 2018 season. — David Newton

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