Could the Cleveland Browns move from Baker Mayfield to Kirk Cousins?
Sophisticated writer Ian Wharton truly believes that the Cleveland Browns will trade for Kirk Cousins. A bold shot, sure, but one he already believes in. So what makes Wharton think Brown would give up Baker Mayfield for Cousins?
Well, it all comes back to the idea of ”familiarity” that I overused. It’s almost as if sports writers can’t get out of the box. Once a player and coach are bonded together for even just one season, they are bonded together forever moving forward.
That’s right, Wharton thinks Brown should take over the Cousins and his $35 million contract because Stefansky was the offensive coordinator for one season.
The Cousins’ knowledge and huge success with Stefansky makes it easy to see. His cousins aren’t nearly as impressive as his insane stat lines suggest, but he does raise the offense’s baseline to a steady level. Cleveland will be a top contender in the Super Bowl with a Top 10 quarterback like Cousins, taking the guesswork out of the position Mayfield brings.
Don’t forget that Brown needs a quarterback promotion, even though Mayfield himself was in the top 10 or top 10 quarterbacks in 2020. So if Mayfield isn’t good enough when he’s healthy, getting Cousins won’t be. As a side step?
Furthermore, his contract is $35 million and either Vikings or Brown would need his approval to restructure his deal. The cousins deal is totally foolproof. He has no incentive to restructure anything. Why agree to less money when the Vikings have to pay you $35 million no matter what happens? If they release him he gets his contract in full.
So not only is this a sideways move, but Brown is actually going to wipe out their flexibility to do this trade because it doesn’t make sense for Cousins to restructure his deal. The only exception is that he wants to get out of Minnesota, and he wants to go to a certain team that he can’t afford in free agency. Otherwise, why are the wages being cut?
Where would the Cleveland Browns send Baker Mayfield in this deal?
For Mayfield, things are getting worse. According to Wharton, the Cleveland Browns will deal Mayfield with Washington. Which would be the end of his career for Mayfield as Washington had 20 years of inept attacking, one save or two seasons. The Browns, for all their faults, have had more high-profile offenses over the past two decades than the Washington FA.
With all the names on this list, and there are plenty more (Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers, etc), none of them are geared towards the Saints, who are in dire need of a quarterback. Wilson is expected to go to the Broncos, Rodgers to stay in Green Bay, Deshaun Watson to the Carolinas (not prison), Matt Ryan to the Giants of all places, and Jimmy Garoppolo to the Steelers.
It makes me concerned that they think the Giants, who are in the process of rebuilding, are going to have a regressive quarterback of about 40 years old. I have no confidence in any of these predictions.