Following his third season within the NFL, Baker Mayfield is eligible to signal a long run contract with the Cleveland Browns.
CLEVELAND — Editor’s be aware: the video within the participant above is from Jan. 17, 2021.
Even at sure factors this season, there have been questions concerning Baker Mayfield’s long run future with the Cleveland Browns.
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However now that the Browns’ 2020 season is within the books, the query is not whether or not Mayfield might be signing an extension however reasonably, what that extension will appear to be.
Whereas Cleveland’s 2020 marketing campaign ended with a heartbreaking 22-17 defeat to the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs within the AFC divisional spherical on Sunday, the truth stays that the Browns simply wrapped up their most profitable season in additional than a quarter-century. At 11-5, Cleveland turned in its finest regular-season report because the 1994 season, which was additionally the final time the Browns gained a playoff sport earlier than final weekend’s win over the Pittsburgh Steelers within the wild card spherical.
Whereas serving to lead the Browns to their first postseason look since 2002 was an accomplishment in and of itself, Mayfield’s play additionally dramatically improved all through the second half of Cleveland’s 2020 marketing campaign. At season’s finish, he ranked 15th in conventional quarterback score, 10th in Soccer Outsiders’ QB score and 11th in rbsdm.com’s EPA + CPOE composite.
Whereas the place Mayfield ranks within the NFL’s quarterback hierarchy remains to be up for debate, there is not any longer any query as as to if the No. 1 choose of the 2018 NFL Draft is Cleveland’s quarterback of the longer term. With that in thoughts, let’s check out what Mayfield’s inevitable contract extension would possibly appear to be with the data we at the moment have out there.
Spotrac.com, the net sports activities contracts database, initiatives Mayfield’s market worth to be a four-year, $140,806,156 contract with a mean annual wage of $35,201,539. That might make the Oklahoma product the third-highest paid participant within the NFL, trailing fellow quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, who every signed contract extensions final offseason.
Spotrac arrived at this estimation primarily based on a method utilizing 4 gamers it considers similar to Mayfield primarily based on age, contract standing, and statistical manufacturing. It then ran a statistical evaluation on Mayfield’s manufacturing in comparison with the 4 different gamers to regulate its estimation, additionally factoring in Mayfield’s age at signing, which might be 25 if he indicators a brand new deal earlier than April 14.
The 4 gamers chosen for Mayfield’s evaluation — Mahomes, Jared Goff, Kirk Cousins and Carson Wentz — every signed their new offers throughout the previous two years. Whereas Cousins signed his second contract with the Minnesota Vikings final yr, Mahomes, Goff and Wentz every signed new offers following their third seasons within the league, as Mayfield can be doing if he indicators an extension this offseason.
Whereas Spotrac’s projection would possibly run excessive — Mahomes’ contract is the most important within the NFL historical past — it gives a strong estimate for the kind of deal that Mayfield and the Browns may be taking a look at. And though Mayfield may not be a consensus top-10 quarterback, the truth stays that new quarterback contracts solely have a tendency to extend, as evidenced by every of the 16 largest new offers on the place having been signed in 2017 or later.
Another excuse Mayfield possible will not turn out to be the third-highest paid quarterback within the NFL this offseason? Josh Allen of the Buffalo Payments and Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens are additionally eligible for extensions.
Allen, who was superior statistically to Mayfield in every of the previous two seasons, will face the Chiefs on this weekend’s AFC Championship Sport with a visit to the Tremendous Bowl on the road. Jackson, in the meantime, gained the NFL’s MVP award in 2019 and has led Baltimore to the postseason in every of his first three seasons within the league.
Spotrac’s market worth calculator initiatives Allen for a four-year, $162,389,360 ($40,597,340 common annual wage) contract and Jackson for a four-year, $158,629,808 ($39,657,452 common annual wage) deal — each of which rank forward of Mayfield’s projection. With Dak Prescott projecting for a four-year, $148,253,724 ($37,063,431 common annual wage) as he enters free company, it appears possible that even at his highest projection, Mayfield will not rank any larger than being the sixth-highest paid participant at his place, which might put him according to the place Goff and Wentz ranked after they signed their extensions in 2019.
It is also price noting that none of those projections think about assured cash, which is often a sticking level in NFL negotiations. Whereas Goff and Wentz’s offers rank seventh and ninth, respectively, amongst quarterbacks in whole worth, additionally they rank second and third on the place in sensible ensures.
Additionally, whereas Mayfield is eligible to signal an extension this offseason, that does not imply he has to. Though it is a foregone conclusion the Browns will choose up his fifth-year possibility for the 2022 season this offseason, both facet might decide to proceed to play out his present rookie contract with the intention to acquire additional leverage in future negotiations.
Historical past, nevertheless, means that either side have a tendency to work one thing out as early as attainable — particularly coming off a profitable season for either side.
And if the projections are to be believed, Mayfield will quickly be cashing in on a large payday as Cleveland locks up its quarterback of the current — and the longer term.