The status quo has been the name of the game for the Detroit Lions at quarterback much of this offseason, and that doesn’t figure to change with the team on a summer break ahead of training camp.
Still, that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from churning away as it relates to Jared Goff and Baker Mayfield, a few of the much-maligned veteran quarterbacks ready to hit the league for another season in 2022.
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Once again, Pro Football Talk analyst Mike Florio is driving the bus in terms of folks who want to see Mayfield go to Detroit. In a recent piece looking at 11 teams that Florio thinks should consider adding Mayfield to the mix, Florio calls out Detroit specifically, saying he’s better than Goff and could be a better fit for the team personality-wise.
“Those familiar with this specific web destination may remember that I’ve been trying to type this one into existence. Mayfield is better than Jared Goff. Period. And Mayfield much better fits the current vibe that coach Dan Campbell is trying to create than the California kid who landed in what must feel to him like Bizarro Oz,” Florio wrote of Detroit as a potential destination in the piece.
The Lions’ connection to Mayfield in the mind of the media probably starts and finishes with John Dorsey, the senior personnel executive in Detroit who helped draft Mayfield in Cleveland. Fit and talent or not, the Lions still have Goff in the mix and firmly implanted as the team’s starting quarterback. That is not likely to change barring a jarring flip in approach for Detroit’s front office.
Heading toward camp, the team seems to be all systems go with Goff and isn’t likely to get involved in a Mayfield trade. That doesn’t stop some, including the likes of Florio, from dreaming about such a move playing out for the Lions, however.
Where Things Stand With Regard to Mayfield Trade
So far, there’s been no movement in recent weeks as it relates to a Mayfield deal. Rumors have swirled with teams like the Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks perhaps being linked to Mayfield, but nothing tangible has gotten done on the trade front. With this in mind and the market perhaps drying up, it’s possible that the surge of the Lions in recent days with regards to rumors is all desperation, and the Browns side trying to panic one of their interested teams into making a move or jumping the gun in order to get Mayfield into the mix quicker. A report surfaced from Michael Balko that a new team had entered the mix for Mayfield, perhaps complicating a deal with Seattle. Hence some folks wondering if the Lions have been involved.
Still, it’s all been quiet on Detroit’s front, so it sure doesn’t seem as if the team is operating in shadow trying to acquire another quarterback. Besides, there are obstacles to such a trade, namely Goff’s contract, which could slow movement between the sides if there was indeed any interest.
Cleveland’s hand may be forced by Mayfield, who wants out given the team’s deal for Deshaun Watson this offseason. With Watson’s season in-flux due to pending hearings with the NFL, the Browns could keep Mayfield for the time being, but that wouldn’t be what the quarterback would want, meaning the potential for a deal before camp or during camp seems significant.
What Lions’ Trade for Mayfield Could Look Like
Though a deal seems very farfetched, the Lions wouldn’t necessarily have to move on from Goff if they wanted to acquire Mayfield in the coming days. The team might have to use another squad as part of a three-way trade if the Browns didn’t want to take Goff back in a potential Mayfield deal. Detroit could trade middle-round draft picks in 2023 to facilitate a move. They could also hope to find another team to take Goff off their hands in a separate trade entirely after landing Mayfield if a deal was to occur.
Detroit might not have to give up much to land Mayfield, but there’s no guarantee that the Lions would make that trade happen anyway. The team’s front office is confident in Goff, especially considering Brad Holmes helped draft him in Los Angeles and bring him to Detroit and has added weaponry for him in the 2022 draft as well as built the offense around him. Holmes has maintained that he believes in Goff, especially after his solid finish to the 2021 season which featured 10 touchdowns to just 2 interceptions for the quarterback after Thanksgiving.
Still, folks in the media have not stopped stoking the Mayfield rumors. Until a deal somewhere finally gets done, this only figures to continue. It’s wise for fans to keep things in the proper perspective, however.
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