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Cleveland Browns: Latest On Baker Mayfield Trade Rumors, Eyeing A New Stadium & More News

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Browns Would Reportedly Eat Large Chunk of Mayfield’s Deal To Facilitate Trade

It’s been three months since the Cleveland Browns traded for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, but 2018 first overall pick Baker Mayfield remains on the roster.

After the Browns completed the trade for Watson, it all but ensured that Mayfield’s tenure in “The Land” was winding down. But the regular season is now less than three months away, and the 27-year-old is still on the roster. Mayfield is due to make $18.8 million in 2022, as the Browns opted to pick up the fifth-year option on his rookie deal last year. 

During an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show (h/t Anthony Rizzuti of Panthers Wire), Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported that the Browns are willing to absorb close to half of the $18.8 million on Mayfield’s deal in a potential trade with the Carolina Panthers.

“They’re willing to take on a fair amount of Baker’s salary,” Breer said. “Like nine, 10 million dollars. So, like, for people out there who think that Cleveland’s holding on to Baker as Deshaun (Watson) insurance, they wouldn’t be offering to take on a pretty significant portion of the guy’s salary if they were looking to hold him until there’s more clarity in the Deshaun Watson case.

“So do I think there’s a solution to be found here where the Panthers can go get Baker Mayfield and throw him into a competition with Sam Darnold and Matt Corral? I certainly think that that solution is out there.”

It’s widely believed that Caesars Sportsbook in Ohio will soon go live, along with several other major sportsbooks. Ohio is expected to launch mobile and online sports betting at some point this year. The Caesars Sportsbook would also offer new customers in Ohio a risk-free bet of up to $1,500 once they sign up.

Customers would also be able to place a variety of different bets, including point spreads, parlays, over/under and futures (division and championship winners, etc.).

Mayfield played through several injuries and managed to start 14 of 17 games last year. He completed 60.5 percent of his passes for 3,010 yards, 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. At this point, it’s clearly only a matter of time until a Mayfield trade materializes.

Browns Reportedly Looking For A New Stadium 

Cleveland ownership is reportedly looking for a new venue that would replace FirstEnergy Stadium.

Citing sources close to the Browns’ ownership group, blogger Ken Prendergast of NEOtrans reports that the club “is leaning toward building a new stadium versus renovating the existing FirstEnergy Stadium.”

Prendergast heard from the sources that the franchise has chosen two possible locations for a new downtown stadium, and that it would “likely cost in excess of $1 billion.” Per the report, Haslam family ownership is displeased with the “aging” state of the stadium.

FirstEnergy Stadium opened in 1999, the same year the Browns returned to the NFL following a three-year hiatus. It was one of two stadiums that opened in 1999; the Tennessee Titans opened up Nissan Stadium in Nashville that year as well.

In 1996, the Browns relocated to Baltimore and had their name changed to the “Ravens.” The official Browns franchise was “deactivated” from 1996 to ‘98 before returning to the league in 1999.

Since 2014, five new NFL stadiums have opened: Levi’s Stadium for the San Francisco 49ers (2014), U.S. Bank Stadium for the Minnesota Vikings (2015), Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the Atlanta Falcons (2017), SoFi Stadium for the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers (2020) and Allegiant Stadium for the Las Vegas Raiders (2020).

Kareem Hunt Hopes To Finish Career With Browns

Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are widely viewed as the NFL’s best running back duo, but there’s a chance that 2022 will be their final year together in Cleveland.

Hunt is entering the final season of a two-year, $12 million pact he signed with the franchise back in 2020. If he gets his wish, the 2017 Pro Bowler will get the opportunity to finish his professional career with the Browns.

“I was born and raised here,” Hunt said in a recent interview with Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com (h/t Bobby Kownack of NFL.com). “I’d love to finish my career here and just keep playing the game with (Nick) Chubb longer and with the great guys on this great team.”

Despite taking far less reps than most lead running backs due to Chubb’s presence, Hunt had a productive 200 season with the Browns in which he rushed for 841 yards and six touchdowns. Hunt helped the Browns end an 18-year playoff drought, and they went on to stun the AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Wild Card Round.

Injuries to key players (including Hunt) led to a disappointing 8-9 season for the Browns last year. Hunt was limited to eight games, rushing for 386 yards and five touchdowns.

In three seasons with the Browns (32 total games), Hunt has 1,406 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns to go along with 97 receptions for 763 yards and six scores.

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