What Baker Mayfield’s Contract With Cleveland Browns Might Look Like

Baker Mayfield's Contract

Baker Mayfield’s contract with the Cleveland Browns seems relatively secure. There is every reason to believe he is Cleveland’s starting quarterback. Rising from the ashes of his abysmal 2019 season, Mayfield has stepped up, restoring confidence that he is indeed good at his job. Moving forward, what would his contract look like?

What Baker Mayfield’s Contract With the Cleveland Browns Might Look Like

Chris Manning of Forbes went in-depth over Mayfield’s contract and what it will look like. Even before the Browns’ disheartening loss to Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, Ian Rapoport took the plunge with this: “There’s a lot of other issues at play here, but make no mistake — Baker is their guy in Cleveland.”

While we’re not clear on when exactly an extension will come or how much it will be, all indications point to the fact that it will happen.

What Happens First?

The first step will be for Cleveland to pick up his fifth-year option. According to Manning, it will be worth more than $30 million based on the league’s top 20 quarterback salaries. It is likely to happen in March or April. Both sides will have some time to negotiate without free agency and a franchise tag that is imminent after next season.

The Figures

Next, the Browns will be working out what Mayfield’s deal will look like and how much he should make. The most appropriate templates are Jared Goff’s contract with the Los Angeles Rams and Carson Wentz’s with the Philadelphia Eagles. Both were drafted off the board early, they were given the reins almost immediately, and they were given big-money deals.

Goff, like Mayfield, was the number one overall pick in his year, has a similar structure whereby he can be more easily let go after another two years. Wentz signed a four-year deal worth up to $128 million, with $70 million in guarantees. Next year, he’ll account for 17.4 percent of the cap and can be more easily cut in the final two years.

Mayfield is proving himself to be a worthy franchise quarterback, but at this point, even a deal similar to Deshaun Watson ($39 million annually) is too high for him. It wasn’t long ago that he struggled to put up decent numbers and the Browns need more assurance. Remember that the Browns, in addition to the quarterback, they paid a star defensive linesman (Myles Garrett) and top-shelf cornerback (Denzel Ward). Plus, they should be pushing to keep that elite running bank Nick Chubb.

His Contract Depends On Other Quarterbacks…?

The Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson and the Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen were members of Mayfield’s 2018 class. Jackson has had continual success and won the MVP last year. Allen, though he was mediocre at the start of his career, propelled himself to stardom in 2020. He has had more overall success throughout his first three years. During the regular season, Allen was third in QBR, Lamar was seventh and Mayfield was 10th. As Manning observed, the order of their extensions can impact each other. Whoever doesn’t sign first will have a money baseline to demand in negotiations.

The Browns And Mayfield Will Both Benefit

Striking a deal will benefit both sides. The Browns have not been able to secure a quarterback since 1999. Locking him up will be a relief, to say the least. For Mayfield, it means he’s guaranteed money. If he gets injured before signing, he won’t be at a financial loss. Dak Prescott can’t say the same for himself.

Look forward to something happening, and soon. It only means good things for the Browns and their starting quarterback.

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