CLEVELAND - Baker Mayfield's rocky run with Cleveland officially ended Wednesday when the Browns traded the divisive quarterback and former No. 1 overall draft pick to the Carolina Panthers, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.
Mayfield, pushed out of his starting job by the Browns' pursuit of Deshaun Watson, is going to Carolina for a conditional draft pick in 2024 or 2025, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal can't be completed until the QB passes a physical.
The Browns are also assuming some of Mayfield's $18.8 million contract for next season. Cleveland plays Carolina in the opener.
The top pick in 2018, Mayfield’s time with the Browns effectively ended in March when the team traded three first-round selections and six overall to Houston for Watson, who is facing a possible NFL suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy.
Watson has been accused of sexual misconduct by two dozen massage therapists in Texas, and settled 20 of 24 lawsuits.
Mayfield, who played most of last season with a left shoulder injury, felt betrayed by Cleveland’s move, demanded a trade and then had to wait until the Browns found a team both interested in him and willing to take on his salary.
Mayfield will compete for Carolina's starting job with Sam Darnold.