What’s next for Baker Mayfield after being released by Panthers?

When the the Carolina Panthers agreed in July to ship a conditional 2024 draft choose to the Cleveland Browns for Baker Mayfield, the No. 1 total choose within the 2018 NFL draft, they had 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 Whole QBR that ranked final within the league. That led to his launch on Monday with the Panthers (4-8) set to go together with Sam Darnold and PJ Walker as their high quarterbacks the remainder of the season.

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

By way of the Panthers, all his launch did was assure the conditional choose from Cleveland shall be a fifth-rounder as an alternative 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 all of the remaining questions surrounding Mayfield:

Why did not it work out for Mayfield in Carolina?

He did not win. It is that easy.

You could possibly argue the Panthers did not play to Mayfield’s strengths just like the Browns did in 2011 after they dedicated to the working sport to take strain 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.

However even with a dedication to the run in Mayfield’s solely begin beneath 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. Administration knew at that time Mayfield would not be part of their long-term plans. Darnold nonetheless has an opportunity to be, so that they minimize 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 will 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 obtainable in case the 49ers, Ravens or one other group needing quarterback assist needs 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 minimize 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 through the offseason. — David Newton

Would the injury-depleted San Francisco 49ers think about signing Mayfield?

On condition 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 contemplate each obtainable possibility. That features Mayfield. Purdy goes to be the starter shifting ahead, regardless, however the Niners have to find out if Mayfield could be a match as a backup.

San Francisco already added Josh Johnson, no less than partly due to his familiarity with the offense from his time with the group in 2020. Mayfield performed in a model of coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense with the Cleveland Browns, however may he atone for the verbiage sufficient to be an improve over Johnson within the close to future?

There may be additionally locker room match to contemplate. Mayfield hasn’t precisely endeared himself to key Niners, like defensive finish Nick Bosa who has some dangerous blood with Mayfield that dates again to school. It is also not fully within the Niners’ management, as they sit No. 24 within the waiver order and different quarterback-needy groups are in entrance of them. It is attainable a kind of groups may think about claiming Mayfield, which may set off a domino impact that makes one other quarterback obtainable whom the Niners would possibly need. — Nick Wagoner

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

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

Groups I’ve talked to consider his days as an NFL starter might be numbered. However a number of groups might be utterly beginning over at quarterback, from the New Orleans Saints, Washington Commanders, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets and New York Giants. There shall be jobs obtainable. However 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 akin to Teddy Bridgewater and Jacoby Brissett. Provide and demand will harm his case. — Jeremy Fowler

What are the Panthers’ quarterback choices heading into 2023?

The draft.

They’re doubtless a top-10 choose, possibly high 5, and this can be a sturdy quarterback class.

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

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

However it’s clear neither is a long-term repair for an issue that has plagued this group since Newton started having damage points halfway by means of the 2018 season. — David Newton