The moment that the Carolina Panthers selected offensive lineman Ickey Ekwonu sixth overall the rumor mill went into motion focusing on Baker Mayfield. Carolina has been rumored on and off to be interested in the services of Mayfield and this first round selection only propelled them further.
The Panthers do not have another pick until the 137th overall selection, preventing them from selecting any of the quarterbacks of note in this draft. With Sam Darnold on his fifth-year option their defacto starter, perhaps this could propel the Panthers to make a move for Mayfield. Mayfield and Darnold have both been disappointments which led to the franchises that drafted them moving on before their rookie deals were up. Carolina has stated that previously that a trade for Mayfield would not happen in the first half of the draft, although things can always change.
Seattle in the mix?
Just like Carolina, Seattle selected an offensive tackle, Charles Cross at ninth overall. The Seahawks have also been a possible landing spot for Baker Mayfield. The quarterback situation in Seattle currently features Drew Lock and Geno Smith, both underwhelming. Mayfield should at least be able to push these two for the starting job should Seattle come calling and inquiring about landing Mayfield.
As far as the Browns are concerned, return package is not necessarily the focus here as a bidding war for Baker Mayfield does not exist. Cleveland needs to find an offer, accept it, and move forward as their quarterback room is complete with the likes of Deshaun Watson, Jacoby Brissett, and Josh Dobbs. The Browns just need to remove the elephant in the room from the equation and put the Mayfield era behind them once and for all.
The nightmare scenario that nobody trades for Baker Mayfield still exists, backing Cleveland into a corner that will see them receiving zero sympathy from anyone. As of now that is still a break glass in case of emergency scenario, but should be noted as a scenario that is very and more possible than some realize.