The Cleveland Browns are 3-1 in 2021.
This is the continuation of an excellent 11-5 season that resulted in a playoff berth and a wild card victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Browns are a young team with players still on rookie contracts.
Among them is Baker Mayfield, the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
The Browns have already exercised their fifth-year option for the 2022 season.
The Cleveland Browns have reportedly exercised fifth-year options on the contracts of quarterback Baker Mayfield and cornerback Denzel Ward, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
The move will keep both players under contract until the 2022 season. @Criminal record sheet
– Eric👀Schefter (@ EKaplan15) April 24, 2021
However, this is the NFL where contract extensions are negotiated early and often especially for quarterbacks.
Mayfield, Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens and Sam Darnold of the Carolina Panthers are on the same timeline.
His fellow draftsman Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills got his extension first.
Now that Josh Allen has signed a $ 258 million contract extension, @ Foxworth24 is starting the “Pay that Mayfield” campaign TODAY!
“Josh Allen had a season that was better than Baker Mayfield, the rest of his seasons were no better than any of Baker Mayfield’s seasons.” pic.twitter.com/Hd9BxwnR15
– Get up (@GetUpESPN) August 9, 2021
Inside and outside of Cleveland, Baker Mayfield is a polarizing figure.
People think he’s either the Browns franchise quarterback of the future or he’s not a good quarterback at all.
Comparing your numbers to Allen’s or Jackson’s seems silly.
Each team runs a different type of offense, so this is not an apples-to-apples comparison.
Dak Prescott and Allen have shown that the current quarterback rate in 2021 is $ 40 million per year.
The Browns may decide not to pay Mayfield the maximum price.
They can put it off and the franchise will tag it in 2023, but the Dallas Cowboys did that trick with Prescott and all they did was let time pass and the current rate went up.
The deal with Dak will look like a bargain in 6 months.
Like we all said it would be. Because that’s how quarterback contracts work. The Bills were smart.
DON’T WAIT TO PAY FOR YOUR EFFING QB! https://t.co/JvwKzl1mY9
– Dalton “Fall Damage” Miller (@DaltonBMiller) August 6, 2021
Maybe they could recruit a new quarterback and start over.
Or they can sign a free agent.
Free agents, especially established veterans, are also expensive.
What will Mayfield do?
Mayfield has always admired Tom Brady.
Brady needs less than usual to play in the NFL for a number of reasons.
One, you have the TB12 and backups that bring you a lot of revenue.
Second, you leave money on the table for the team you are playing with to build around it.
Tom Brady is under contract through 2022 with a salary cap of $ 18,395,588 next year thanks to the years 2023-2025 added to his contract. He could have demanded $ 45 million for the 2022 extension year in March and Bucs would not have refused. Getting the best price is not the Brady MO https://t.co/ywX2SNv64V
– Joel Corry (@corryjoel) October 3, 2021
It really is a success.
The Browns will find themselves at a crossroads very soon.
Years of having so many top draft picks means those players are nearing the end of their rookie contracts, so it’s not just Mayfield that will have to get paid.
They already took care of Nick Chubb.
the #Brown and RB Nick Chubb have an agreement in principle on a 3-year contract extension worth $ 36.6 million, according to sources. $ 20 million fully guaranteed. Big business for the Cleveland cow bell. 💰 💰 💰
– Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 31, 2021
However, Wyatt Teller could become a free agent later this year.
And Denzel Ward is on the same schedule as Mayfield.
There are only a few dollars to go around.
Mayfield has backups; Could you go the Tom Brady route and accept less money?
He would leave money on the table for the Browns to pay other young players.
Mayfield in 2021
On top of all this, Mayfield has struggled the last two games.
Some argue that you are dealing with the ramifications of a no-shed shoulder injury in week 2 that requires you to wear a harness.
#Brown QB Baker Mayfield, who has been using a shoulder harness to play, suffered a partially torn labrum in his left shoulder on September 19 against the #Texanssay the sources. No surgery is needed as of now. He was included in the report after the injury and not a practice session has been missed.
– Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 7, 2021
Does this minimize your market value?
Is your extension in jeopardy or possibly taking longer?
Nobody really knows.
The Browns are not going to negotiate during the season, so there is time to wait and wonder how this situation will play out in the long run for both Mayfield and the Browns.