Panthers faith in Baker Mayfield may not be all that high based on reported pay cut ask

Panthers faith in Baker Mayfield may not be all that high based on reported pay cut ask

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The Baker Mayfield disrespect knows no bounds. Even the Carolina Panthers, who recently traded for the QB, threw some shade in Mayfield’s direction before acquiring him.

Based on whichever of the infinite number of reports you believed about Mayfield suggesting there was a lot or very little interest from teams around the league to trade for Mayfield, his salary was one of the biggest factors in the situation.

FILE - Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) lines up for a play during an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, on Dec. 12, 2021, in Cleveland. 

FILE – Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) lines up for a play during an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, on Dec. 12, 2021, in Cleveland.  (AP Photo/Kirk Irwin, file)

Mayfield carried a guaranteed salary of $18.86 million, which is a large number for a QB of his caliber coming out of an injury-plagued season.

While Carolina ultimately landed Mayfield for just a fifth-round pick – that could turn into a fourth-round pick – it didn’t want to take that big of a salary hit to get him. Having said that, the Panthers’ original pay cut ask for Mayfield was sizable, to put it lightly.

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According to The Athletic, Mayfield was willing to give up $3.5 million of his guaranteed salary, but Carolina wanted him to double that number to $7 million.

FILE - Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield walks on the field before an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, on, Jan. 9, 2022, in Cleveland.

FILE – Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield walks on the field before an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, on, Jan. 9, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Nick Cammett, File)

That’s a significant ask from the Panthers – now Mayfield’s employer – for a player who is already on a prove-yourself-deal set to become an unrestricted free agent next season.

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I’d like to think Mayfield is a pretty level-headed guy. Having said that, Mayfield can’t love the fact that the ownership of his new team wanted him to take a $7 million pay cut. That’s not exactly showing faith in your new quarterback.

Sam Darnold #14 of the Carolina Panthers reacts on the bench during the second half in the game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on October 24, 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Sam Darnold #14 of the Carolina Panthers reacts on the bench during the second half in the game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on October 24, 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

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The Panthers are in an interesting spot with Sam Darnold still on the roster and just a couple of months removed from drafting Matt Corral in the third-round of the NFL Draft. Carolina clearly recognized it needed another proven QB in the room, but the franchise isn’t overly confident handing him the keys just yet.

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