Baker Mayfield's salary remains a lofty hurdle to a trade.
The Cleveland Browns quarterback will make $18.86 million on his fifth-year option. While the Carolina Panthers remain a speculated landing spot, they already have to pay the same amount to Sam Darnold in 2022.
On Friday, NFL Network's Albert Breer told Rich Eisen that Cleveland is willing to pay approximately $9-10 million of Mayfield's contract in a trade. While that's a sizable sum and "a big step" toward getting a deal done, Colin Cowherd believes it's not enough.
During Monday's radio said, Cowherd said Cleveland should cede defeat and eat all of Mayfield's salary to end the messy situation.
"Stop worrying, fretting about the degree of the L. Take an L. Pay Baker's salary," Cowherd said. "You paid 100 percent guaranteed of Deshaun Watson's with 24 civil lawsuits. You can't take an L with Baker?"
He added that Mayfield led them to the playoffs in 2020, snapping a 17-year drought, and made the Browns more "newsworthy" and profitable than they had been before taking the Heisman Trophy winner with the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Cowherd criticized Cleveland as "poorly run" by "bad ownership" that threw $230 million guaranteed at Watson out of desperation. He said he feels bad for Mayfield and suggested the quarterback is thinking, "I told you so" in relation to the Browns' dysfunction.
Rather than trying to salvage some costs, Cowherd advised the Browns to cover everything and move on.
"Pay all of it. Move him, so you can have just one incredibly disruptive, news-making quarterback."