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Steelers reportedly 'will pounce' to sign QB Baker Mayfield if he hits free agency

Yardbarker logo Yardbarker 3/22/2022 Zac Wassink, Yardbarker
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has now taken the reins as the most-discussed QB available to be had. © Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has now taken the reins as the most-discussed QB available to be had.

Barring an entirely unforeseen circumstance, quarterback Baker Mayfield has likely taken his last official snap as a member of the Cleveland Browns following their controversial trade for ex-Houston Texans star signal-caller Deshaun Watson. Mayfield has publicly wanted to be shipped out of Cleveland for nearly a week and was linked with the Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers as recently as Monday, although multiple reports indicate no deal appears "imminent." 

It was also said Monday the Browns may have to offer assets and possibly eat some of the fully guaranteed $18.858 million Mayfield is owed for the 2022 season to offload the 2018 first-overall draft pick. Such speculation caused some to wonder if Cleveland could simply release the 26-year-old at some point. 

It seems a fellow AFC North club wouldn't allow Mayfield to remain a free agent for long if that were to happen. 

As Adam Bittner explained for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, noted Browns insider Mary Kay Cabot recently said that the Pittsburgh Steelers "will pounce on Baker Mayfield if he becomes available" on the open market. 

"Like if they cut him and he’s just out there as a street free agent, they would take him in a minute," Cabot added. 

Video: Browns beat writer Mary Kay Cabot weighs in on Deshaun Watson trade, Baker Mayfield's options (NFL)

The move makes perfect sense and not just because Mayfield is familiar with the offense of one of Pittsburgh's division foes. As of now, it's assumed the newly signed yet unproven Mitchell Trubisky is QB1 for the Steelers over career backup Mason Rudolph and 2019 first-round draft pick Dwayne Haskins. A fully healthy Mayfield coming off offseason surgery to repair a non-throwing shoulder injury he dealt with throughout this past season could potentially beat out all three of those individuals for any starting job. 

It's also hard to ignore a version of Mayfield in his physical prime would probably have chips on both shoulders and would welcome the opportunity to prove doubters in Cleveland, not to mention elsewhere, wrong. For this to be a possibility, though, the Browns would have to give up on trading their former starter, and there's currently no sign they've reached that point of this inevitable breakup.  

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