The Case For The Cleveland Browns To Extend Baker Mayfield Before He Plays Another Game

The Case For The Cleveland Browns To Extend Baker Mayfield Before He Plays Another Game

Nick Pedone
3 years ago
3 min read
The Case For The Cleveland Browns To Extend Baker Mayfield Before He Plays Another Game

The Cleveland Browns are in a position that the Cleveland Browns as we know them have never been in before. They’re positioned to lock up a quarterback for the long haul. Baker Mayfield is the guy that the franchise is committed to moving forward, and it certainly seems as if his contract extension is simply a matter of when, not if.

The Browns and Mayfield have options when it comes to agreeing to terms on an extension.

They can ink for the long-term this summer, next summer, or even in the years following that depending on franchise tag usage. Letting this situation get that far down the road seems like the least likely option for both sides, so it’s not going to be in consideration for the sake of writing this.

That leaves the Browns and Mayfield two remaining options, extend this summer,
or let things play out and come to terms when Mayfield has just one season left
on his deal. The question that appears is, which one of the two options is
better for the Browns and for Mayfield?

Let’s take a look at the case for extending Mayfield before he plays another game for the Browns:

Mayfield is going to be compensated as one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks, it will be interesting where he ranks among the game’s highest paid. It’s difficult to imagine that he’s going to exceed the $45 million that Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes brings in, but it’s not out of the question that he’s slotted behind Mahomes and above the rest of the league.

Where exactly Mayfield’s contract slots in could also depend on the timing of the deal. If he agrees to a deal within the next month, prior to Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson and Buffalo’s Josh Allen inking long-term extensions with their respective teams, he’s going to be higher on the list. While Mayfield is in the same ballpark as those two on the field, their accolades to this point outweigh his, and will likely mean more money. If those two sign extensions this summer and Mayfield doesn’t, the price for Cleveland’s signal caller could jump significantly if he has the year that many expect him to in 2021.

Salary Cap

For the purposes of Cleveland’s salary cap, the sooner Mayfield can be signed, the better. Knowing exactly how much he’ll be due per year for the foreseeable future could be a key to helping to keep cornerback Denzel Ward, running back Nick Chubb, and offensive lineman Wyatt Teller all around for the long haul. If any of those three are signed before Mayfield – especially Teller or Chubb, as Ward’s fifth-year option give a little bit of leeway on his situation – then it could lead to a roster crunch down the road at other positions.

After Mayfield has had the furthest thing from stability in the franchise since he was drafted back in 2018, with four different head coaches and a pair of general managers, here’s finally reason to believe that’s going to be different with head coach Kevin Stefanski – and the rest of the coaching staff – entering year No. 2. It’s fair to expect a better version of Mayfield as he’s more comfortable in this offense system.

The Browns should expect the guy that showed up for the second half to be the
guy that shows up right away when the season opens in Kansas City in early
September. And that’s the guy that’s worth locking up as soon as possible.

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