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#pounditSaturday, January 28, 2023

Did Rams tamper with Baker Mayfield?

Dec 8, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Baker Mayfield (17) before playing against the Las Vegas Raiders at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Baker Mayfield put together a one heck of a performance for the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night. Two days after being claimed and despite just practicing with the team once, Mayfield played quarterback in all but one drive against the Las Vegas Raiders on “Thursday Night Football” in Week 14.

Mayfield led the Rams on two touchdown drives in the fourth quarter to help them come back from down 16-3 to win 17-16. Everything about the win was improbable, including how the Rams landed Mayfield in the first place.

The circumstances have to leave one asking whether there was any tampering that led to the Rams adding Mayfield. Let’s look at things.

– Mayfield and Sean McVay sat next to each other on a flight from LA to Indy to the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine. McVay raved about Mayfield at the time.

– Mayfield asked for the Carolina Panthers to cut him. He likely wouldn’t have done this unless he knew someone out there wanted him.

– Only 1 team put in a claim for Mayfield — the Rams.

– Mayfield said in postgame interview that he “took a gamble. I booked the flight before the waiver wire went through.”

– Mayfield ends up not just joining the Rams, but actually playing nearly the entire for the team.

– Mayfield looked somewhat competent, like he might have had more than just a day to learn the playbook.

From asking the Panthers to cut him, to booking a flight to LA on a hunch, to starting on Thursday, it sure seems like something was going on.

Maybe a text message like, “Hey John Wolford is hurt and we can’t win with Bryce Perkins. Why don’t you ask Carolina to release you and we’ll put in a waiver claim for you. If all works out, you’ll be playing on Thursday night,” was sent.

Who knows.

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