Things could get awfully interesting tomorrow around 4pm ET, as we’ll find out who former no. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield will play for next.
Earlier today, it was announced that the top pick of the 2018 draft was being released by the Carolina Panthers after the two sides came to a mutual agreement to part ways. The belief is that Mayfield felt as though the timing was right for such a move, as he was headed to third-string duties in Carolina, behind Sam Darnold and a now-healthy P.J. Walker.
Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers just lost their starting quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, for the season. And they could be looking to make an upgrade at the position behind their new starter, Brock Purdy. At the moment, Jacob Eason and Josh Johnson are expected to battle for the backup role, which is not ideal for a team that’s hoping to make a run at a Super Bowl.
As such, many people have been calling for the 49ers to make a waiver claim for Baker Mayfield. However, as the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport pointed out, there are at least two other teams with higher waiver priorities who could spoil the Niners’ plans.
During a segment on NFL Now, Rapoport, listed the Houston Texans and Los Angeles Rams as two potential landing spots for the former Browns and Panthers QB.
The Texans currently have the number one claim and are rolling with Kyle Allen as their quarterback. If they decide they want to make an upgrade, they could decide to spend the $1.3-million and claim Mayfield. At the same time, they may want to avoid such a move, as it could risk their chances of securing the first overall pick in next year’s draft.
The Rams, on the other hand, don’t own their first-round pick next season. And they just lost Matthew Stafford for the season. They could decide to screw the rival Niners by claiming Mayfield.
The Rams currently sit fourth in the NFL’s waiver order, well ahead of the Niners who are 25th on the priority list.
If either the Rams or Texans (or any other team) claims Mayfield, it shouldn’t change the 49ers’ plans too much. Even if they do land Baker, it is widely expected that the team will continue to roll with Brock Purdy as their starter.
The 2022 Mr. Irrelevant proved he was anything but when he led the Niners to a 33-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins. The former Iowa State product completed 25 of 37 pass attempts in the game for 210 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
He is now set to start for the Niners next week when they take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home.