Browns trade Baker Mayfield to Panthers

The deal is pending a physical.

The fifth-round pick could convert to a fourth-round pick depending on Mayfield’s playing time with the Panthers.

A barrier to a potential Mayfield trade to Carolina had been money, with Mayfield due to earn $18.8 million on his fifth-year option. But NFL Network reported all parties worked together to make it work. The Browns will pay Mayfield about $10.5 million, with the Panthers picking up about $5 million.

Mayfield agreed to cut the remaining $3 million-plus off his pay.

He will not have long to wait to see his former team. The Panthers host the Browns in Week 1 on Sept. 11 in Charlotte, N.C.

Mayfield was 29-30 as the starter with the Browns and completed 61.6 percent of his passes for 14,125 yards, 92 touchdowns and 56 interceptions. After an injury-marred season in 2021 and growing discontent between the two sides, the Browns’ front office said Mayfield would be their starter in 2022. But their acquisition of Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans in March, despite more than 20 civil lawsuits from women alleging sexual misconduct, sealed the split with Mayfield.

The Browns are awaiting a ruling as to whether the NFL will suspend Watson after an investigation and a multiday hearing conducted last week by league disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson last week.

Two grand juries in Texas elected not to indict Watson.