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    Baker Mayfield and Browns, Deebo Samuel staying and extra

    The Cleveland Browns put themselves in a bind at quarterback, and the best way out possible features a lengthy street together with extra of Baker Mayfield.

    In March, a soccer crew traded three first-round draft picks and paid a file $230 million assured for a quarterback presently dealing with two-dozen civil fits for alleged sexual misconduct, all whereas the actual chance exists of beginning the quarterback they had been so determined to switch that this sentence is someway truth and never fiction.

    Meet the 2022 Cleveland Browns.

    Two months in the past, the Browns had been out of the bidding for Deshaun Watson, with the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints because the finalists to amass him from the Houston Texans.

    Then, instantly, Watson picked the Browns.

    The corporate line from Watson’s camp was him realizing what’s necessary for his profession. The fact is Cleveland had alienated Baker Mayfield with its pursuit of Watson, and basic supervisor Andrew Berry determined to go all-in to verify he wasn’t beginning a glorified backup come Week 1.

    In the end, cash talks. Particularly a record-breaking quantity.

    This isn’t how a reliable group does enterprise. It doesn’t panic itself into $230 million assured for a participant who may very well be suspended for some or all the upcoming season, relying upon what NFL commissioner Roger Goodell decides to do that summer season.

    And the current information is all dangerous for Cleveland and Watson.

    The Browns declare they did their due diligence, and it’s unattainable to show the assertion both means. But final week, two extra civil fits have been introduced towards Watson within the aftermath of HBO’s Actual Sports activities with Bryant Gumbel and its interviews with accusers of the quarterback. Then there’s lawyer Tony Buzbee, who represents every plaintiff, saying Watson supplied every of the primary 22 accusers $100,000 to settle their instances, supplied they signed non-disclosure agreements. In the end, no instances had been settled.

    So right here the Browns are. They’ve a star quarterback being paid a fortune who won’t be eligible to play for a while. In the meantime, Mayfield stays on the roster as Berry has been unable to maneuver him.

    Now what?

    With coaching camp steadily approaching, it seems Mayfield and his team-high $18.85 million cap hit might be in Berea come late July. And whereas Mayfield actually needs out, and Cleveland would love to dump his cash, it’s laborious to see each taking place in conjuncture.

    One way or the other, the most effective situation for the Browns is holding onto Mayfield, ready for the league to carry its self-discipline on Watson, after which attempting to coax Mayfield into enjoying till Watson returns. And for Mayfield, channeling his anger and harm emotions into the most effective soccer of his life is the proper transfer as effectively for his future.

    All this may create what is perhaps probably the most weird scenario the NFL has seen in a long time; Mayfield enjoying for a crew who needs no a part of him, and he no a part of them. And but for each, they should succeed, serving to the opposite concurrently.

    The Browns entered this offseason not eager to depend on Baker Mayfield.

    Extremely, in some methods, they now want him greater than ever.

    Energy rankings

    Prime 10 AFC quarterbacks getting into 2022

    1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas Metropolis Chiefs – Self-explanatory
    2. Josh Allen, Buffalo Payments – All-Professional, 2x division titles, dual-threat
    3. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers – Pure passer, elite arm expertise, mobility
    4. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals – Correct, nice chemistry with superior weapons
    5. Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos – The largest wild card in soccer this yr
    6. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens – Electrical, could make performs, however weapons?
    7. Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns – Attainable suspension looms massive
    8. Matt Ryan, Indianapolis Colts – Sturdy, former MVP, captain working the offense
    9. Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders – A top-12 quarterback within the incorrect convention
    10. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans – Competent passer, can’t do it alone

    Quotable

    “Nicely, we haven’t traded him, and — I’ve used the phrase idiot — I’d be a idiot to commerce him, so sure, Deebo might be a part of the 49ers this season.”

    – San Francisco 49ers basic supervisor John Lynch on receiver Deebo Samuel

    After a couple of months of hypothesis relating to Samuel’s future, we now have readability. Lynch strongly confirmed his stance final week, and it’s the proper one. Samuel is signed for this season after which may be tagged for 2 extra, ought to San Francisco need to go that route.

    If Samuel holds out on the tag subsequent offseason, Lynch can reevaluate his place and go from there. Nonetheless, cash talks. If the Niners give Samuel a bit extra say in his function after which provide him a fortune, there’s a lot motive to consider the wedding works.

    Podcast

    Random stat

    Detroit Lions working again Barry Sanders performed 10 NFL seasons. He by no means ran for lower than 1,000 yards, and made the Professional Bowl in every marketing campaign.

    In 1998, his ultimate yr, Sanders rushed for 1,491 yards earlier than calling it quits.

    Information realized this week

    1. Aaron Donald may retire, however his contract — and cash — in all probability sway him

    Irrespective of how wealthy you might be, $76.5 million talks.

    Aaron Donald is probably the uncommon man prepared to stroll away from such a determine, however he’d be one of many few. Final week, Donald spoke about his scenario on the I Am Athlete podcast and mentioned he’s at peace if he walks away.

    Donald, 31, is coming off his first Tremendous Bowl win and though the Los Angeles Rams have him signed for the subsequent three years on the aforementioned $76.5 million. With the Rams prepared to re-work his contract, Donald may very well be in line for added cash, giving him an unlimited windfall into his mid-30s.

    For Los Angeles, Donald is value no matter it takes to carry him again. In eight seasons, Donald is an eight-time Professional Bowler and seven-time First-Workforce All-Professional. There’s a fantastic argument to make he’s the most effective defensive deal with in NFL historical past.

    However what wouldn’t it take to maintain Donald enjoying? Most likely a couple of extra incentives and assured cash loaded into the subsequent few seasons.

    For Los Angeles, that’s well worth the additional funding.

    2. McLaurin is skipping Washington’s OTAs, Commanders ought to put together to pay

    Terry McLaurin isn’t figuring out with the Commanders proper now. And in the event that they need to maintain him long-term, they should settle for actuality.

    McLaurin is getting into the ultimate yr of his rookie deal, one he has vastly out-performed. The 26-year-old has performed with completely different beginning quarterbacks yearly and nonetheless amassed a pair of 1,000-yard seasons, simply changing into Washington’s finest offensive risk.

    Whereas it’s close to unattainable to efficiently maintain out into coaching camp underneath the Collective Bargaining Settlement, McLaurin can present up and refuse to do a lot, as we’ve seen from others reminiscent of Steelers’ edge rusher T.J. Watt.

    For the Commanders, it’s both pay McLaurin now or tag him subsequent offseason at roughly $26.85 million based mostly off present receiver offers. For McLaurin’s agent, Buddy Baker, the negotiation begins at the price of two tags, which is $59 million over 2023 and ’24.

    A month in the past, we noticed the Eagles give A.J. Brown 4 years and $100 million with $57.22 million assured. Their stats are strikingly related by way of three seasons:

    Brown: 185 receptions, 2,995 yards, 24 TDs, 16.2 yards/reception
    McLaurin: 222 receptions, 3,090 yards, 16 TDs, 13.9 yards/reception

    Primarily based on tag numbers, comparable gamers and age, anticipate McLaurin to finally land a deal much like Brown… in Washington or elsewhere.

    3. Kyler Murray reveals up for OTAs, exhibiting good religion

    After skipping the preliminary OTAs for the Arizona Cardinals, quarterback Kyler Murray has returned. For Murray, who has publicly needed an extension this offseason, it’s a sensible transfer.

    Whereas groups don’t get shaken by a participant skipping some offseason work, Murray exhibiting up helps him win public assist. As a substitute of holding out and inflicting friction each with the group and fanbase, the previous No. 1 general decide is exhibiting dedication and a willingness to increase his hand, one thing which can play with followers. The general public relations battle is underrated, and though it doesn’t assure something, it helps put strain on the crew.

    For Arizona, the prudent choice stays to make Murray play his fourth season earlier than negotiating a long-term extension. The Playing cards have all of the leverage, and so they can watch to see if Murray progresses, stagnates and even declines on account of harm or in any other case.

    Nonetheless, for Murray, his finest probability at getting prolonged this summer season is to do precisely what he did this week. Present up, work laborious and maintain attempting to get rewarded by way of personal talks and public assist.

    4. Madden ’23 will see an iconic face, have acquainted voice

    The EA Sports activities’ Madden sequence is the preferred sports activities online game franchise of all time. This yr’s model is perhaps the capstone.

    After the passing of John Madden in December on the age of 85, the Corridor of Fame head coach, broadcaster and Madden face might be honored with the quilt of Madden NFL ’23 together with having his remastered audio clips inserted into the sport. There might be three covers in whole, all depicting Madden in several parts of his soccer journey.

    If you add up the contributions of Madden on the sector, within the sales space and as a online game icon, there’s an actual argument no one has made a deeper influence on the game. This can be a becoming tribute to one of many sport’s most-important figures.

    5. Bucs signal Hicks, which means Suh is transferring on

    In with Akiem Hicks, out with Ndamukong Suh.

    Final week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed veteran defensive deal with Akiem Hicks to a one-year deal value $2.39 million towards the cap. By doing so, it spells the tip for Suh, who performs the identical place and stays a free agent.

    At 35 years previous, it’s virtually sure Suh might be enjoying on one-year offers till the tip, possible on contenders in search of assist. There’s a slew of groups who make sense for the five-time Professional Bowler, together with the Saints, Kansas Metropolis Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders, amongst many others.

    However is Hicks an improve over Suh? The numbers say no.

    As for Hicks, the query is well being greater than skill. Hicks, 33, has solely performed 29 video games over the previous three years, racking up eight sacks and 35 QB hits over that span. For comparability, Suh notched 14.5 sacks and 46 QB hits whereas lacking zero video games.

    Two cents

    Ryan Fitzpatrick retired on Thursday, and the NFL misplaced one in every of its true characters with the information.

    Fitzpatrick had an extremely circuitous route for his soccer life, starting at Harvard earlier than being a 2005 seventh-round decide by the St. Louis Rams. From there, it was two years with the Rams, two extra with the Bengals, a four-year cease with the Payments which included a $59 million deal, and one-year stays with the Titans and Texans. Then, in 2015, one other run of two-year jaunts with the New York Jets, Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins earlier than ending up in Washington.

    All informed: 17 seasons, 9 groups, 223 passing touchdowns, 34,990 passing yards and the incredible-but-true feat of main the Dolphins in speeding yards at 37 years previous.

    Fitzpatrick will all the time be remembered as a terrific backup with a fantastic beard, higher character and colourful shirts. A enjoyable legacy, to make sure.

    Contained in the league

    Few gamers have been extra revered over the previous 13 seasons than Alex Mack. But for Mack, it’s time to stroll away.

    The longtime heart for the Falcons, Browns and 49ers is retiring after a protracted profession within the NFL area. It’s a physique of labor which may land him in Canton. Mack racked up seven Professional Bowls and was named to the 2010s All-Decade Workforce.

    Making All-Decade is often a precursor to getting a gold jacket. Relationship again to the Nineteen Sixties crew, the one facilities to be on the record and never turn out to be a Corridor of Famer are the Dallas Cowboys’ Mark Stepnoski and Olin Kreutz of the Chicago Bears, each who had been named as Second-Workforce members. In contrast to Mack, each had been All-Professionals, however every had fewer Professional Bowl alternatives.

    Regardless, Mack leaves the sport after having among the best careers we’ve seen from a middle.

    Historical past lesson

    After taking on a one-win crew in 1959, Inexperienced Bay Packers head coach Vince Lombardi led his squad to the NFL Championship Recreation one yr later, dropping to the Philadelphia Eagles.

    Within the aftermath of defeat, Lombardi mentioned he’d by no means lose one other postseason recreation. He by no means did. Lombardi received 5 championships within the subsequent seven years, together with three consecutive from 1965-67.

    Parting shot

    Mike Tomlin has by no means endured a dropping season. This is perhaps his first.

    Pittsburgh has a terrific protection — particularly up entrance — however the offense is likely one of the league’s weakest. The Steelers have extra questions than solutions at quarterback, a awful offensive line and first rate weapons however none that are elite at their respective positions.

    Think about a second-place schedule and a brutal division wherein the Bengals, Browns and Ravens are all stable bets to win double-digit video games, and it’s going to be a protracted street for Pittsburgh to complete above .500.

    One may argue Tomlin did his finest teaching job final yr, reaching the playoffs at 9-7-1 regardless of having a quarterback who struggled to throw with any velocity.

    To get there once more, he might effectively should be even higher in 2022.

    #Baker #Mayfield #Browns #Deebo #Samuel #staying