Baker's going to L.A.
The Los Angeles Rams have claimed former No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield off waivers from the Carolina Panthers, NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday afternoon. The transaction was later made official via the league wire.
Mayfield, who was taken at the top of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns, was waived by the Panthers on Monday amid his first season in Carolina.
There was thought that the San Francisco 49ers, who are without opening-day starter Trey Lance for the remainder of the season and have lost Jimmy Garoppolo until at least the playoffs, would be Mayfield suitors, but they (nor any team other than the Rams) did not put in a claim for Mayfield, Rapoport reported.
Instead, he ended up on the other side of the NFC West.
The last-place Rams, who are likely to be without starter Matthew Stafford for the rest of the season, are adding Mayfield to a QB room that includes John Wolford and Bryce Perkins. Mayfield was scheduled to fly out to Los Angles on Tuesday afternoon, but is not likely to be available for the Rams this week as they play the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday night, Pelissero added.
Sitting at 3-9 in the NFC West cellar, L.A. is limping to the finish of a trying campaign that's seen injuries to Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald and many more a season after winning the Super Bowl.
Mayfield's addition is a bit of a surprise considering the Rams' current standing, but at the least he'll get a few weeks to get acclimated to head coach Sean McVay's system.
"He's the type of guy, he's gonna go out and compete his tail off. Glad to have him in the room, for sure," Rams offensive coordinator Liam Coen told reporters Tuesday. "It's just kind of acquiring talent, to be honest, and acquiring somebody to come in and evaluate him, but also our offense. Continuing to evaluate the offense, the other players. It's more so about acquiring talent. Just getting somebody in here that we can continue to develop some competitive nature within the room."
With the addition of Mayfield to the Rams, the Panthers are off the hook for the remainder of his $1.4 million owed this season.
Following four up-and-down campaigns in Cleveland, Mayfield was traded this summer from the Browns to the Panthers. He struggled to a 1-5 record as a starter, completing 119 of 206 passes (57.8%) for 1,313 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions. After losing standing in the depth chart behind Sam Darnold and P.J. Walker, his days in Charlotte concluded on Monday.
Now, Mayfield is bound for Los Angeles, where he'll have another chance at righting his career. Remarkably, Mayfield will also begin playing under his seventh head coach (two were interim) in his fifth season when he arrives under the McVay learning tree.
"If it is something that can provide a spark and somebody that can come in and help us compete to win football games, that's the ultimate goal for the last five weeks of the season," Coen said.
In a tumultuous season for the reigning Super Bowl champs, at the very least, there's some intrigue heading to town.