Quarterbacks are the face of a franchise. Their notoriety and command of the huddle often come with a lofty payday. As the league becomes more pass-oriented, the signal-caller is essential to the success of a team. Last season, six 2017 first-round picks signed extensions and did not play out the final year under their rookie deals.
Former Oklahoma Sooner quarterback and a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Baker Mayfield is eligible and poised for an extension. He had his fifth-year option for 2022 (fully guaranteed) picked up in April, worth $18.858 million. The next step is to iron out the details of a contract extension for Mayfield.
Just over a week ago, Mayfield indicated he wasn’t in a rush to sign a new contract. He said his focus is on trying to win games. Jack Mills, Mayfield’s agent, said earlier this week he expects something will be done this summer. He believes the quarterback market is pretty well-defined and is anticipating the salary cap to rebound.
Along those lines, the NFL and NFLPA recently agreed to a salary cap ceiling of $208.2 million for 2022. Reaching the ceiling in 2022 would be a 14.1% increase over the current $182.5 million salary cap.
Mayfield hasn’t had the same individual success as Allen and Jackson with their MVP-caliber seasons. He rebounded from a sophomore slump in 2019 to arguably play the best football of his NFL career during the second half of last season, which helped the Browns earn a playoff berth for the first time since 2002.
In 2020, Mayfield’s accuracy and ball placement improved significantly down the stretch. In comparison to 14 interceptions in 2018 and 21 in 2019, he hit a career-low of eight interceptions on 538 dropbacks last season for a 95.8 quarterback rating. He led the Browns to the Divisional Round of the playoffs and it is highly unlikely that the organization would explore the market after Mayfield’s stellar 2020 campaign for the dawgs.
The “summer” narrative is intriguing given that many have speculated that Mayfield would like to see what the extensions will be for Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen. Signing him to a deal prior to the 2021 season comes with more of a risk, in the event of regression like Carson Wentz and Jared Goff had after signing four-year extensions.
There is the possibility of reverting to the 2019 form, but another year in Kevin Stefanski’s system will accelerate Mayfield’s growth. The Browns have one of the most dangerous running back tandems in the league with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Chubb is a physical downhill runner that thrives between the tackles and Hunt makes defenders miss in space. They help open up the passing game and as Mayfield continues to ascend, the Browns are once again looking at a playoff berth. Mayfield has always played with a chip on his shoulder and regardless of a payday, he will continue to do so.
Read more: https://sports.yahoo.com/close-baker-mayfield-contract-extension-190054755.html?src=rss