Heading into their bye week at 6-6, the Cleveland Browns are in the midst of another season in which they've failed to live up to the preseason hype.
At some point, things are going to need to change.
Baker Mayfield has continued to struggle to show any improvements, and his 64.9 passing grade from ProFootballFocus ranks just 23rd among quarterbacks who have played at least eight games on the year.
If the Browns were to move on from Mayfield this offseason, they could incur as little as $5.4 million in dead cap space with a post-June 1 trade.
If they do decide that the future is brighter without the former first-overall pick, here are the three most likely quarterbacks to replace Baker.
1. Jameis Winston
The Browns' loaded roster is a big part of why the lack of success with Mayfield has been so frustrating. A replacement needs to give them a legitimate shot of competing right away. Jameis Winston would be a boom-or-bust option, for sure, but his upside is hard to ignore. He was off to an outstanding start to the 2021 season before getting hurt, throwing 14 touchdowns with just 3 interceptions, and his 8.2 adjusted yards per pass attempt (AY/A) on the year blow out even Baker's career-high mark of 7.7 from 2020.
2. Jimmy Garoppolo
It's always been a matter of when, not if the San Francisco 49ers trade Jimmy Garoppolo following their selection of Trey Lance. But Jimmy G is doing everything in his power to prove he's worthy of a starting gig somewhere else. He's averaging 8.3 AY/A on the year, which is his second time doing that in the last three seasons. Overall he has an average of 8.1 AY/A with the 49ers, which as mentioned above beats anything we've ever seen from Mayfield. Garoppolo's ceiling might not be sky-high, but he's shown he's good enough to make the Super Bowl with the right roster around him, and the Browns may well have the right roster.
3. Aaron Rodgers
The Browns have not been afraid of making big, splashy moves, and this one would fit the bill. They weren't on Aaron Rodgers' list of preferred trade destinations this past offseason, but they also weren't viewed as a team in the QB market. There's no quarterback on the market this offseason with a better shot of carrying a team to a Super Bowl than Rodgers, and it's not hard to imagine that he'd love being surrounded by talent in Cleveland.
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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.