Browns Ink New QB Felix Harper Amid Baker Mayfield Drama

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Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.

The Cleveland Browns have added another quarterback to their roster, inking undrafted free agent Felix Harper to a deal.

Harper had a tryout at the Browns’ rookie minicamp and impressed the team enough to stay on. Harper played his college ball at Alcorn State, leading the team to a 6-2 SWAC record in 2021. He completed 191 passes for 2,489 yards and 20 passing touchdowns.

Harper joins a packed quarterback room that includes Deshaun Watson, Jacoby Brissett, Josh Dobbs and — for now — Baker Mayfield. Harper worked out prior to the draft with Watson, who might have petitioned the team to sign the HBCU standout.

Browns Still Looking to Move Mayfield

The Browns are still looking to figure out the situation with Mayfield, who remains on the roster due to Cleveland being unable to find a trade partner for the former top pick.

The Browns won the sweepstakes for Watson in March, bringing him in to be Mayfield’s replacement. Mayfield is coming off a down year where he was banged up with a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder — an injury that required surgery after the season. He ended up tossing just 17 touchdowns to 13 interceptions, slumping down the stretch as the team finished 8-9, missing the postseason.

There have been whispers that the Browns could decide to keep Mayfield and start him if Watson is handed a heft suspension. However, ESPN’s Jeff Darlington does not think that’s a route the Browns or Mayifled want to take.

“The Browns have to get out of their own way,” Darlington said on The Rich Eisen Show. “They’re not going to keep him on the team. That’s a ridiculous notion that he could still be on the roster this season. I understand they owe him $19 million guaranteed no matter what. But if a team trades for him, they’re not paying that $19 million. The Browns have to pay for most of it and until their number comes down, they’re not going to make that move. They see no rush, no urgency since the draft is over but that’s still gotta be the next shoe to drop. To think that Baker is on your roster after all of this is just a ludicrous concept.”

In theory, it could make sense, giving Mayfield a chance to play and prove himself, while also giving the Browns their best chance to win. However, the relationship has spiraled too far out of control and Mayfield has been clear that he feels that he was disrespected.

Panthers Still Open to Mayfield Trade

While the market has been slim, the Carolina Panthers are a team that has been continually in the mix for Mayfield. The Panthers drafted Matt Corral in the third round of this year’s draft but head coach Matt Rhule said the team would be open to adding another veteran.

“We want to have a really strong quarterback room,” Rhule told reporters on Friday during rookie minicamp, “so I don’t think we would say no to a veteran at this point.”

The sticking point for the Panthers and other teams around the league is not Mayfield’s talent. It’s his salary and the fact that the Browns have been unwilling to eat a significant enough chunk of it to make a deal work.


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