CLEVELAND — Baker Mayfield’s rocky run with Cleveland officially ended Wednesday when the Browns traded the divisive quarterback and former No. 1 overall draft pick to the Carolina Panthers for a future draft pick.

Mayfield, who was pushed out of his starting job by the Browns’ pursuit of Deshaun Watson, is going to Carolina for an conditional draft pick in 2024 or 2025.

The Browns are also paying $10 million of Mayfield’s $18.8 million contract for next season, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the trade can’t be finalized until Mayfield takes a physical.

However, the trade was announced by the Panthers, who will host the Browns in next season’s opener – with Mayfield’s addition spicing up the matchup.

The top draft pick in 2018, Mayfield’s time with the Browns effectively ended in March when the team traded three first-round selections and six overall to Houston for Watson, who is facing a possible NFL suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. Watson has been accused of sexual misconduct by two dozen massage therapists in Texas, settled 20 of 24 lawsuits and denies allegations of wrongdoing.

Mayfield, who played most of last season with a left shoulder injury, felt betrayed by Cleveland’s move, demanded a trade and then had to wait until the Browns found a team both interested in him and willing to take on his salary.


Mayfield will compete for Carolina’s starting job with Sam Darnold.

Mayfield’s four years with the Browns included less memorable moments than distracting ones as he couldn’t end the team’s long search for a franchise QB – Cleveland has had 32 starters since 1999. The stint was full of highs and lows, coaching changes, too much drama and not nearly enough wins.

GIANTS: For the first time in three years because of COVID-19, fans will be able to catch live practices of the Giants leading up to the season with the team announcing that 11 practices will be open to the public during training camp, starting with the first date of camp on July 27.

“We are thankful to be able to welcome our fans back to training camp,” Giants president John Mara said. “We have missed having them at training camp the past couple years. Our players, coaches and staff love the energy our fans bring throughout camp. It is a great opportunity for us to interact with the fans and show our appreciation for their support.”

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