“This is an open competition,” Fetterer said Tuesday during a media briefing for Mayfield, who was acquired in a deal with the Cleveland Browns last week. “The reason I added Baker is to make the group better as a whole.”
Mayfield said Tuesday that he has embraced the competition and said Darnold has already reached out to him and that he is looking forward to competing with his new teammate and challenging each other.
He, like all NFL players, said he doesn’t expect to be a backup and acknowledged Darnold has the same mindset. In the end, however, he said, he would “take out whatever role is expected of me and be a great leader and a wonderful colleague”.
Mayfield agreed to cut his salary by $3.5 million to be traded with the Panthers, which he admitted “wasn’t easy.” Fetterer said the Panthers and Browns quickly agreed to offset the draft pick but that Mayfield’s contract was the biggest hurdle in the commercial discussions, which began during the NFL draft.
Brown will receive a fourth or fifth selection in 2024 against Mayfield. Fetterer emphasized that Mayfield needed to play 70% of the picks in order for the draft pick to become fourth. The Panthers will pay $4.85 million in Mayfield’s salary, while Brown will pay $10.5 million, a source told ESPN’s Adam Shifter. A source said Mayfield has agreed to convert the remainder of his $18.8 million salary into incentives to facilitate the deal, but he can recoup that money based on the team’s performance.
Fetterer said the Panthers are not looking to trade Darnold and that no team has been contacted about his presence. He said the Mayfield deal was made with the “short term” in mind, and discussions of long-term deals for Mayfield or Darnold would not occur until later in the season.
Mayfield said Tuesday that he will continue to wear the No. 6 with the Panthers after reaching a deal with Gambler Panthers Johnny Hecker. He said “six is mine” because it’s the number he gave him when he was touring Texas Tech and it “symbolizes his story.”
Mayfield said his trading by Brown was “unexpected” but that he had “no animosity” toward the organization, which “gave me the first four years of my career.” The Panthers host the Browns in the first week and Mayfield said the match will be “special”.
As for his ad campaign with Progressive Insurance, that appears to have ended after his trade with Carolina because he no longer calls Cleveland’s Progressive Field home. Mayfield called it a “missed opportunity”.
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