The Carolina Panthers are with quarterback Baker Mayfield, as the former No. 1 overall pick will hit waivers this week. The flier Carolina took on Mayfield did not work out, as he played in just seven games and went 1-5 as the starter.
Mayfield completed 57.8 percent of his passes for 1,313 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions this season. Now, he's looking for his next NFL home. So, what happens now? Mayfield will hit waivers, where the other 31 NFL teams will have the opportunity to claim him. Per CBS Sports cap expert Joel Corry, Mayfield will be a $1,349,445 waiver claim, and the Houston Texans will have first dibs at claiming him. Which teams could be interested in Mayfield? Let's take a look at some of the clubs that could claim the former Cleveland Brown.
It's been a very disappointing season for the Texans in more ways than one. Apart from holding the worst record in the NFL, it also appears Davis Mills is not the franchise quarterback many hoped he would be. The Stanford product was benched for Kyle Allen a couple weeks ago, but that decision hasn't led to any more victories. In his two starts, Allen has thrown for 416 total yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions while being outscored 57-29.
The Texans will likely hold the top pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, and use that selection on a quarterback. With Houston's tank in full effect, it's not like the Texans will have a high level of interest in Mayfield, but they could kick the tires on adding a veteran.
The 49ers unfortunately lost Jimmy Garoppolo to a during their Week 13 win over the Miami Dolphins. Brock Purdy, this year's Mr. Irrelevant, stepped in and completed 25 of 37 passes for 210 yards, two touchdowns and a pick, and looked pretty solid. But could Kyle Shanahan be interested in upgrading at quarterback?
The 49ers are the team that everyone will have eyes on when it comes to claiming Mayfield, but don't be so sure it happens. For one, it's very late in the season to add another starting quarterback, teach him an offense and then prepare him for a playoff run. Two, maybe San Francisco has something in Purdy. At the very least, he knows the offense. Plus, no offense to Jimmy G, but Shanahan has plenty of experience game-planning with a quarterback that doesn't exactly carry offenses with his arm. Still, the 49ers are definitely a team to watch over the next 24 hours. However, it's worth mentioning they are No. 24 in waiver priority.
Interim head coach Jeff Saturday appears to be a fan of Matt Ryan, but I think the Colts would be making a mistake if he was the starter in 2023. Sunday night was pretty ugly, as the quarterback accounted for four turnovers in the blowout loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Indy has to figure out its plan at quarterback for the future, and claiming Mayfield and giving him some run with the offense late in the year could give the Colts a jumpstart on figuring out if he's a viable option. Remember, the Colts were reportedly Mayfield's top choice when it came to being traded this past offseason.
This is the most fun match in my opinion. Even with Matthew Stafford on injured reserve and likely done for the year, I don't think the reigning Super Bowl champions are scouring practice squads or the waiver wire for another quarterback. Sean McVay probably plans on moving forward with John Wolford and Bryce Perkins, and that's that. However, the Rams could play some waiver-wire "defense," and keep Mayfield away from the rival 49ers. The Rams are currently fourth in waiver priority, so they are going to have an opportunity to grab Mayfield if they want.
I think it's possible Mayfield goes unclaimed. It's very late in the year for any team to add a prospective starting quarterback, and the bad teams probably have draft positioning on their minds. Mayfield hasn't exactly done anything on the field this season to inspire optimism, so maybe interested teams wait until the offseason to reset and see where he is.