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Cleveland Browns Next QB Odds: Cousins over Mayfield?

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 4 mins

Cleveland Browns Next QB Odds: Cousins over Mayfield?

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Baker Mayfield is 29-30 as a starter for the Cleveland Browns, but only one of his four seasons has he finished .500 or better.

With a run offense that ranked fourth-best in the NFL and a defense that was fifth overall in 2021, it’s the Browns QB and the pass game that didn’t hold up its end of the bargain. For a team with Super Bowl aspirations that missed the playoffs last year, it’s easy to point at the quarterback as a reason expectations haven’t been met.

That’s why the Browns are expected to explore all options at QB for 2022. Mayfield is expected to be healthy for the start of the NFL betting season in September but is coming off a season-ending shoulder injury. With cap space and draft capital, Cleveland is hitting a sweet spot for its franchise, but time is of the essence.

Bookies.com oddsmaker Adam Thompson reveals his projected NFL odds for the Browns’ starting QB in Week 1 of 2022:

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Cleveland Browns QB Week 1 Starter

Baker Mayfield-110
Kirk Cousins+350
Russell Wilson+750
Derek Carr+750
Kenny Pickett+1800
Carson Wentz+1800
Matt Corral+2000
Jimmy Garoppolo+2000
Mitchell Trubisky+2500
Jameis Winston+3000
The Field+3500

Odds are projected and are not currently available at legal betting sites or betting apps.

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Mayfield, let’s remember, is still under contract. He has one year remaining on his rookie deal and has proven he can win games at the NFL level. Mayfield’s protection wasn’t the best last year – he was sacked 43 times compared to 26 times the year prior. That said, the rest of the team appears poised for a Super Bowl run. Is Baker the guy who can lead the way? That’s the unknown, and that is why the Browns aren’t all-in on their current QB1.

Mayfield’s $18.9 million salary isn’t chump change, and may hinder a trade, especially since he’s due to be an unrestricted free agent after the 2022 season. The Browns have an estimated $28 million in available cap space – and moving Mayfield opens a plethora of options at the position.

But most signs point to a return to Cleveland, for one more year anyway.

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Alternatives To Baker In Cleveland

Second-year head coach Kevin Stefanski has a direct tie with Vikings QB Kirk Cousins, having worked together in all of Cousins’ seasons in Minnesota. With the Vikings bringing on a new coach and GM, this could be a logical change-of-scenery play for both sides.

While most insiders believe Aaron Rodgers will remain in Green Bay, Russell Wilson’s status in Seattle remains murky. Acquiring Wilson makes the Browns a bona-fide title contender. Getting Mayfield (and considerable draft capital and players) gives the Seahawks a QB for one season and the freedom after which to go in any direction.

Derek Carr is the only other QB likely on the radar that could be an upgrade over Baker. A new coach and front office could bring a change under center in Las Vegas. If it’s on the radar, Mayfield’s team might push for this, given the marketing opportunities alone.

Mitchell Trubisky was a winner in Chicago despite being jettisoned. He played last season as the No. 2 in Buffalo but his mobile and efficient style suits Stefanski. Even if he’s added, it’s unlikely he’s the Week 1 starter.

Of course, Jimmy Garoppolo is getting dangled in front of every team this offseason. The Browns aren’t considered a team likely to draft a QB but at No. 13 they likely could get a top choice if they zag in that direction come draft day.

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About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been established as one of the nation's premier handicappers, specializing in the NFL where he's hit on more than 60% over the past three years. Adam's NBA, PGA and horse racing picks have also produced major winners over the last 12 months. His customized NFL and NBA odds for players and teams have been picked up by hundreds of websites over the past year.