Baker Mayfield rumors: Steelers would sign QB ’next day’ if cut
Editors’ note: This story contains accounts of sexual assault. If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or at https://www.rainn.org
If the Browns release veteran quarterback Baker Mayfield, they may have to face him twice a year. During ESPN’s Get Up this morning, Jeff Darlington said that the Steelers would sign the AFC North rival quarterback “the very next day” if he’s cut, per The Plain Dealer.
Rumours about the Mayfield-Steelers have been circulating since the fallout between the quarterback of his current Cleveland team. Mayfield has sought to be moved since the franchise set its sights on Deshaun Watson, for whom it eventually traded and signed to a record deal. Mayfield stated that he felt “disrespected” by the Browns for not being open to communication during their pursuit of Watson.
In March, Browns beat reporter Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer/Cleveland.com said that the Steelers would “pounce” at the chance to sign Mayfield. The team is seeking a replacement to Ben Roethlisberger after his retirement following the 2021 season.
The Steelers have signed Mitchell Trubisky, a former Bears starter, as a high-upside reclamation project. Mason Rudolph has also been signed by the Steelers. Rudolph has served as a replacement for Roethlisberger over the past few years. Tragically, another prominent member of the team’s quarterback room, Dwayne Haskins, was hit by a dump truck and killed in Florida earlier this month. He was in the area to attend workouts with Trubisky, and other Steelers players.
Mayfield is coming off of a disappointing, injury-addled season that saw him miss three of the team’s games. After leading the Browns to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth in 2020, he threw for 3,010 yards, 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in ’21. His 7.2 yards per attempt tied him for the worst mark in his career. He also had a 9.3% sack rate, which was the worst in his NFL career.
Scroll to Continue
The Browns were aggressive in seeking an upgrade in Watson, albeit one with significant baggage. While two grand juries in Texas declined to charge Watson on 10 total criminal complaints stemming from many allegations of sexual misconduct and assault during massage therapy sessions, he still faces 22 active civil lawsuits. They describe accounts ranging from the quarterback refusing to cover his genitals during sessions to “touching [a plaintiff] with his penis and trying to force her to perform oral sex on him.”
After the deal, Watson received a five-year, $230 million contract. The deal is structured so that the quarterback would only lose $55,556 for every game he’s suspended if he serves one in 2022, per Sports Illustrated‘s Albert Breer.
During his introductory Browns press conference, Watson denied the allegations levied against him.
More NFL Coverage:
- Mailbag: Could the Jets Draft Yet Another Lineman in the First Round?
- Behind the Spectacle of Colin Kaepernick’s Comeback Tour
- Justin Herbert, Kyler Murray Among Few First-Round QBs Who Shined As Rookies
- All Steelers: The Diontae Johnson Drama Isn’t Real
For more Pittsburgh Steelers coverage, go to All Steelers.
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.