The 49ers have to be monitoring the situation between disgruntled Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield and a potential deal to the Seahawks, which is apparently moving forward.
Don’t put a complete end to the 2022 offseason quarterback carousel just yet.
According to NFL insider Michael Balko, talks are heating up between the Seattle Seahawks to acquire quarterback Baker Mayfield from the Cleveland Browns, a move stemming from two other offseason blockbuster trades involving quarterbacks: the Hawks sending Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos and the Browns acquiring Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans.
Cleveland’s mess with Watson amid off-field allegations of sexual misconduct sure is ugly, and that trade didn’t exactly put Mayfield in the best of situations.
Meanwhile, Seattle is poised to either make this trade or hope for better horizons after rolling with either one of two signal-calling options on its roster, Geno Smith or Drew Lock.
Unless a Mayfield-to-Seahawks trade goes down.
Of course, the San Francisco 49ers are highly interested in this. Not only does it impact the landscape of the NFC West entering 2022, but it also affords them a better chance to offload one of their own quarterbacks, Jimmy Garoppolo.
49ers would be free to trade Jimmy Garoppolo if Baker Mayfield is moved
Earlier this offseason, we argued the Niners were essentially handcuffed by Mayfield this offseason amid their attempts to move Garoppolo. With so many other teams rolling with other plans instead of targeting Jimmy G, Mayfield’s sudden availability in the wake of the Watson trade gave quarterback-needy teams like the Seahawks an extra option on the table.
Another one of those teams is the Carolina Panthers.
Related Story: Panthers forcing 49ers’ hand with Jimmy Garoppolo?
The Panthers, too, need a quarterback unless they’re poised for more mediocrity with Sam Darnold under center, yet they also may have been in the market for Mayfield.
If the soon-to-be former Browns quarterback does wind up going to the Hawks, Carolina would have few other options than to explore acquiring Garoppolo.
In this regard, perhaps San Francisco would be justified by waiting for Garoppolo’s market to improve, a reality made better by the fact he’s coming close to a full recovery in the wake of offseason shoulder surgery.
Interesting how that report popped up just before the Mayfield news.
Additionally, depending on what happens with Watson and a potential year-long suspension on the table, the Browns may also be forced to get desperate, potentially creating what the 49ers would want most: a late bidding war for Jimmy G on the trade market.
49ers EDGE Nick Bosa would love to see Baker Mayfield with Seahawks
There’s another caveat to the potentially happening trade between Cleveland and the Hawks.
Pro Bowl EDGE Nick Bosa, a collegiate rival of Mayfield’s from their days against each other with Ohio State and Oklahoma, respectively, would be absolutely thrilled if Seattle decided to acquire the Browns quarterback.
Bosa sacked Mayfield twice and hit him five times during that memorable 2019 regular-season game between the Niners and Browns, prompting the pass-rusher to mimic Mayfield’s flag-planting back when Oklahoma beat Ohio State.
Naturally, Bosa explained why it mattered to him at the NFL level:
Seriously, you have to watch that video. It’s classic.
And it’d be a sign of things to come for Bosa, too, who’d relish the opportunity to go after Mayfield, this time as part of the still-going rivalry between San Francisco and Seattle.
So, yes, the 49ers would be thrilled for Bosa to enjoy a would-be Mayfield trade to the Seahawks, too.