Initially, there was little cause to theorize about estranged Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield enjoying for the Panthers.
Professional Soccer Community reported there was “mutual disinterest” between Mayfield’s camp and Carolina after the 2018 No. 1 decide requested a commerce out of Cleveland. Mayfield was upset the Browns (like 13 different groups) had been courting embattled quarterback Deshaun Watson. Finally, Watson choose the Browns, leaving Mayfield and not using a staff.
He’s underneath contract in Cleveland by way of the fifth-year choice (value $18.9 million towards the cap) however nobody expects him to stay round for coaching camp. It will be a shock if he participated within the offseason exercise program that begins subsequent week.
The open market has evaporated for Mayfield. He has little commerce worth. The Browns could must pair him with a draft decide only for a staff to tackle his contract. If that doesn’t occur, then Cleveland will both commerce him whereas agreeing to pay a part of his wage or just reduce him.
These final two eventualities may intrigue the Panthers. Or on the very least, make them reconsider bringing in Mayfield to compete with former 2018 No. 3 decide Sam Darnold.
However would Mayfield match inside new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s system? And is he a greater choice than 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who can also be obtainable? Let’s unpack each of these questions.
What’s a McAdoo offense?
The Panthers employed McAdoo in hopes he’ll reshape their passing sport. Final season, Carolina ranked thirty first in passing in accordance with Soccer Outsiders DVOA metric. (DVOA measures a staff’s effectivity by evaluating success on each single play to a league common based mostly on state of affairs and opponent). Over his 16-year NFL teaching profession, McAdoo’s system has helped manufacture environment friendly, high-volume passing seasons out of Aaron Rodgers, Eli Manning and most not too long ago Dak Prescott.
In any respect three stops (Inexperienced Bay, New York and Dallas), McAdoo put in a high-tempo west-coast system predicated on shotgun throws, fast deliveries and playmaking alternatives. Let’s give attention to his time in New York since that’s the place he had essentially the most affect as offensive coordinator and finally head coach.
Outfitted with Manning and a younger Odell Beckham Jr., McAdoo referred to as performs for the Giants’ offense in 2014 and 2015, main to 2 explosive seasons for Beckham Jr. OBJ received Rookie of the 12 months in 2014, averaging a league-high 108 receiving yards per sport.
“When I think about a Ben McAdoo offense, I think about quick throws out a shotgun, and a high-tempo, basketball-type offense,” The Athletic’s Diante Lee advised The Observer. “One thing that he has done everywhere he’s been is improve his quarterback’s completion percentages by giving them more options underneath to throw the football, and I would imagine that that will be the same thing in Carolina.”
Appears like DJ Moore, Robbie Anderson and Christian McCaffrey ought to have loads of yard after the catch alternatives underneath McAdoo. This may increasingly sound acquainted to Panthers followers, who endured 1.5 seasons of an inconsistent Joe Brady offense that promised related playmaking probabilities. Lee stated McAdoo understands protections higher and won’t deploy as many unfold seems as Brady did. McAdoo additionally implements a number of tight-end formations, in contrast to the Panthers’ former offensive coordinator.
Lee stated generally McAdoo’s Giants offense lacked explosiveness. It’s been 4 seasons since McAdoo referred to as performs. He spent final yr as a senior offensive guide for Dallas, the place he was uncovered to a extra various system. Maybe McAdoo added to his playbook studying from Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.
Now that we’ve outlined the system let’s resolve whether or not Mayfield would match.
Would Baker Mayfield match with Panthers?
Throughout Mayfield’s rookie season, the Browns fired head coach Hue Jackson and named then working backs coach Freddie Kitchens interim head coach and play-caller. Mayfield responded by setting the rookie passing landing file (27, which was damaged two years later by Justin Herbert’s 31). He and Kitchens (aided by a smooth defensive schedule) blended properly collectively at first.
Enjoying in Kitchens’ system is an instance of what Mayfield would seem like underneath McAdoo.
Mayfield regressed in 2021 largely as a result of he played with a torn labrum which he suffered in Week 2 towards the Texans. However there have been additionally major disagreements about the offense between Mayfield and head coach Kevin Stefanski.
Underneath McAdoo, Mayfield would play in a system much like what Kitchens ran. He’d be in shotgun extra typically, play uptempo and be allowed extra freedom to select his matchups both outdoors the numbers or beneath. Let’s overview some performs of Mayfield’s from 2019 when Kitchens was the pinnacle coach.
The above play comes from Week 4 of the 2019 season. The Browns beat the Ravens in Baltimore 40-25, bettering to 2-2. Mayfield accomplished 20 of 40 passes for 342 yards and a landing.
On this play, the Browns confronted a third-and-long. Baltimore rushed 4 and dropped seven defenders right into a Cowl 4 spot-drop look. Mayfield did a wonderful job stepping up within the pocket whereas conserving his eyes downfield.
After a pump faux, he threads a bullet to Odell Beckham Jr. and picked up the primary down. That is an instance of Mayfield working to his second learn whereas feeding an outdoor receiver on a deep route idea.
This subsequent play highlights a quick-timing throw which Mayfield excelled at.
On second-and-10, the Ravens once more dropped seven and performed quarters protection (Cowl 4). By making a pre-snap learn, Mayfield recognized zone protection as a result of just one defender aligned over tight finish Ricky Seal-Jones and slot receiver Jarvis Landry.
On the snap, Mayfield instantly locked in on Landry. He made the choice pre-snap Landry was his major goal. As soon as Landry bends round a dropping linebacker, Mayfield resets and hits him for an eventual 65-yard achieve.
This final play showcased high quality play design and an awesome pre-snap learn from Mayfield. The Browns confronted thrid-and-3 within the pink zone. Once more in shotgun, Cleveland ran a mesh idea beneath, tagged with two outdoors verticals and a fast launch wheel route from the working again.
Beckham and Seals-Jones cross on brief underneath routes, which opened up Seals-Jones for a simple rating.
Mayfield or Garoppolo?
In spite of everything that, you’d assume Mayfield can be an ideal slot in Carolina, proper? Not fairly.
“Jimmy G is a better option,” a former NFL basic supervisor advised The Observer. “He is a winner and his experience is so much greater. Baker (Mayfield) is better than Sam Darnold but I’d rather get a QB in the draft.”
“I have never at any point seen anything from Baker Mayfield to make me believe that currently or in the future that he’d be a better quarterback than Jimmy Garoppolo,” Lee stated. When it comes to his arm expertise, his determination making, his capacity to deal with stress, I believe, in virtually each class or each checkbox that you simply had been making an attempt to guage these quarterbacks by, I believe Jimmy’s received Baker beat.”
If it’s between Mayfield or Garoppolo then these across the NFL don’t assume it’s a lot of a debate. Garoppolo continues to be considered as a starter whereas Mayfield is trending towards being a backup, no matter what system he lands in.
Don’t count on the Panthers so as to add Mayfield. Garoppolo is a significantly better choice.