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Panthers interested in another QB besides Baker Mayfield?

Baker Mayfield stands on the sideline

Nov 21, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) walks off the field after the Browns beat the Detroit Lions at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers are viewed by many as the most logical suitor for Baker Mayfield, but that does not mean they are anxious to acquire the former first-round pick. While they clearly need a starting quarterback, it sounds like Mayfield is one of several options they are considering.

Multiple reports this week linked Mayfield to the Panthers. According to Joe Person of The Athletic, Mayfield is “not the only guy on the list” in Carolina.

Person did not mention other names, but Jimmy Garoppolo is one that would make sense. The San Francisco 49ers are expected to turn things over to Trey Lance next season, though there has been some talk of them keeping Garoppolo for one more year.

Garoppolo has proven he can win at the NFL level, while Mayfield probably has more upside. Mayfield has been wildly inconsistent in Cleveland, but he also battled numerous injuries last season and might benefit from a fresh start.

Mayfield’s contract is one big obstacle standing in the way of a trade. The Panthers have nearly $31 million in salary cap space. That does not mean they want to use up most of it on Mayfield. Garoppolo will earn $24 million in 2022, but he is the more proven NFL player. Carolina’s interest in either player could increase following the draft.

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