It is still unclear what the truth about Seattle's interest for Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield is. And that could be exactly what the Seahawks or Browns want.
Ian Rapoport, of NFL Media, stated Tuesday afternoon that the Seahawks had never shown strong interest in Baker Mayfield. Josina Anderson, CBS Sports' reporter on Tuesday evening, said that the Seahawks continue to have strong interest in Baker Mayfield.
The Seahawks may be interested in Mayfield, but they are doing a fantastic job keeping it from becoming too obvious. During the draft, Carolina and Cleveland held trade talks. Negotiations over Mayfield's $18.8million salary, which the Browns and Panthers would each pay, fell apart. Recent reports indicate that interest remains strong, even though the Panthers pulled out of the draft to pick Matt Corral.
Seattle, which tried to misdirect everyone over months about whether Russell Wilson would ever be traded, may be doing the same thing here. They are trying to make it seem like they don't care despite wanting to upgrade from Geno Smith or Drew Lock, the U.S. Open’s favorite punching bag. For multiple reasons, it makes sense to keep things quiet. They want Mayfield to be as cheap as possible in terms of draft picks as well as compensation. The Browns have no other option but to make the deal, and Mayfield and the Browns are unlikely to coexist.
We tried to find out all the teams that might be interested in Mayfield over the weekend. This was a better alternative to the one they have at the top. Even the Browns, which should absolutely want Mayfield for the entire season, should be considering it.
It is a mixture of checkers, chess and chicken. The move will be made eventually by someone. The Seahawks could be waiting for the right moment to make the move, but they can still maintain plausible deniability in case it doesn't. They can't afford to give the impression they don't trust Smith or Lock in their first season after Russ. They still want Mayfield but they don't care enough to move on.
As training camp draws near, something must be done. Mayfield isn't inclined to excuse himself from camp while Browns wait for a quarterback injury and for someone else to pick up a first round pick. This was similar to what the Vikings did in 2016 for Sam Bradford, when Teddy Bridgewater suddenly lost his season. Mayfield is determined to complete the task so that he can learn a new offense, a new team, a different coaching staff, and a whole new season, which will allow him to be eligible for a contract.
It could be Seattle. It could be another team that has been slow to study game film and OTA tape, wondering if Mayfield will give them a better chance of winning as many 2022 games as possible.
It can happen at any moment. It must happen quickly, otherwise the awkward situation between Mayfield and Brown could become acrimonious.
This could be the Seahawks' plan. The Browns will run and cut to avoid any distractions in an offseason that features more than one of them.
However, Mayfield should believe in Mayfield if they have a partner who is willing to do whatever it takes. It doesn't matter how much they have to give up via salary or trade compensation if it works. They may not be able to get him if they wait too long.
Yes, Detroit Lions, this is me talking directly to YOU.