This isn’t an article on should you extend Baker Mayfield this season or wait, I have written on that before and you can read that here. Personally, I would wait until the bye or one more year but I’m fairly split 60/40 on whether to do it. This piece is all about if you extend him this offseason what does it look like?
The most important part if you are extending Baker Mayfield this offseason is that you make sure you are ahead of the competition. Each player that gets paid usually gets a little more than the one before. We have multiple quarterbacks who could see deals this offseason such as Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, and Dak Prescott.
Jared Goff got $1.5 million per year more than Wentz. Joey Bosa got $2 million more per year than Garrett. There is little between those pairs in terms of talent but going later, even by a few days made the difference.
What About COVID?
The Browns managed to extend Myles Garrett with everything going on, they used particular structures to do this. They brought back a double option bonus that hadn’t been seen in the NFL since Joe Flacco’s deal in 2013. I have written before on the structure Andrew Berry has used for his three big deals last offseason.
I guess they would follow the same structure for Baker as Garrett as they would help the Browns manage the COVID salary cap as well as Baker’s team wanting his deal backloaded to secure his future in Cleveland.
But How Much Money?
In the past two years, we have seen several quarterbacks in their prime sign new deals. Below are their averages per year as well as what the percentage of the NFL salary cap was when they signed that deal. Data from Over The Cap
Patrick Mahomes* – $39.5m APY (20.0% of cap)
Deshaun Watson – $39m APY (19.7% of cap)
Russell Wilson – $35m APY (18.6% of cap)
Jared Goff – $33.5m APY (17.8% of cap)
Carson Wentz – $32m APY (17.0% of cap)
*Mahomes effectively has two deals, a 5 year $39.55m APY deal followed by a 5 year $50.45m APY deal
If I had to guess Baker would likely get a deal similar to Carson Wentz which would be 17% of the salary cap. If we are using the 2020 salary cap of $198.2m then that 17% would be $34m a year, taking it over what Goff got in terms of dollar value.
In terms of guarantees, Wentz got $109m, Goff got $110m and Watson got $112m. This means Baker’s camp would be looking at anything in the $110m to $112m range as they would want to beat Goff, it is unlikely they can top Watson though.
What Is Baker’s Current Deal?
Baker Mayfield is entering the final year of his rookie deal and they will be activating his fifth-year option this offseason which is due to be somewhere in the $18m-$20m range. Let’s work on it being $19m for this article.
How Could It Look?
I’m effectively going to take the deal mix of the Wentz/Goff deal and give it the Garrett treatment to backload it for COVID. This is what I believe will be the most likely direction based on what we have seen from this Front Office.
Here are the conclusions I have made:
– 4-year deal
– $136 million in new money
– $110 million guaranteed
– $23 million signing bonus ($4.6m)
– $22.7 million option bonus in 2022 ($4.54m)
– $19.8 million option bonus in 2023 ($3.96m)
They likely also add a void year to push even more money into the future too.
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