Deshaun Watson arrives for the start of Browns’ volunteer OTAs; Baker Mayfield is not present

The Cleveland Browns’ future smiled as he headed to the facility for the first day of the team’s offseason training program. While Deshaun Watson’s presence on Tuesday continued the start of a new era in Cleveland, former Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield did not attend as he continues to seek an out-of-town trade.

On a chilly spring morning in northeast Ohio, Watson began his first active day on the job after signing a five-year, $230 million contract earlier this offseason after being traded to Houston. The former Pro Bowl quarterback is tasked with leading the Browns back to the playoffs after the franchise ended with a disappointing 8-9 record in 2021. Cleveland hopes to revisit the success he had in 2020 when he won his first game of playoffs at 26. years.

While Watson gets used to his new teammates, Mayfield remains a lame duck. He’s still on the team’s payroll as the Browns determine their future. Given his contract (Mayfield is guaranteed $19 million this season after Cleveland took his fifth-year option), the Browns need to find a business partner for Mayfield, preferably someone who is willing to take part of his salary.

With the NFL Draft just around the corner, the Browns can trade Mayfield for a draft pick (or two) during the three-day process. If no trade comes through, Cleveland will likely try to trade him to a team with unresolved quarterback issues. The Browns also haven’t ruled out bringing Mayfield back, although based on Mayfield’s recent comments that seems like the most unlikely scenario.

“I feel disrespected,” Mayfield said during a recent appearance on You never know podcast. “One hundred percent. Because they told me one thing, and they did another completely. That’s what I’m in the middle of right now… I’m just looking for stabilization right now.”

One team that may be in the market for Mayfield is Seattle, who traded longtime starting quarterback Russell Wilson to the Broncos earlier this offseason. Despite his current quarterback status, our recently compiled mock consensus draft does not have Seattle drafting a quarterback in the first round. Veteran Geno Smith is currently scheduled to be the Seahawks’ Week 1 starter unless the team drafts or trades for a quarterback before the start of the season.

Regardless of where he ends up, it’s clear that Mayfield started his last game in Cleveland, which selected him with the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. While his Cleveland career didn’t end on the best of terms, Mayfield’s tenure with the Browns had several positive moments that included his successful rookie campaign as well as his role in the franchise’s first playoff berth by more than a quarter of a year. century.

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