Browns trade quarterback Baker Mayfield to Panthers

Cleveland Browns' quarterback Baker Mayfield wears a gray hoodie with an orange helmet on it.
Baker Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft, has been traded from the Cleveland Browns to the Carolina Panthers for a conditional draft pick.
(Aaron Gash / Associated Press)

Baker Mayfield’s rocky run with Cleveland officially ended Wednesday when the Browns traded the divisive quarterback and former No. 1 overall draft pick to the Carolina Panthers.

Mayfield, pushed out of his starting job by the Browns’ acquisition of Deshaun Watson, is going to Carolina for a conditional draft pick in 2024 or 2025, a person familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the trade can’t be finalized until Mayfield takes a physical.

The Browns are also paying $10 million of Mayfield’s $18.8-million contract for next season, the source said.

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The trade was announced by the Panthers, who will host the Browns in next season’s opener.

The top pick in 2018, Mayfield’s time with the Browns effectively ended in March when the team traded three first-round selections and six overall to Houston for Watson, who is facing a possible NFL suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

Watson has been accused of sexual misconduct by two dozen massage therapists in Texas, and settled 20 of 24 lawsuits.

Mayfield, who played most of last season with a left shoulder injury, felt betrayed by Cleveland’s move, demanded a trade and then had to wait until the Browns found a team both interested in him and willing to take on his salary.

Mayfield will compete for Carolina’s starting job with Sam Darnold.