The Los Angeles Rams claimed the former No. 1, Baker Mayfield, off waivers, according to reports.
The Carolina Panthers waived Mayfield on Monday after he played just seven games with the team. Panthers interim head coach Steve Wilks said it was a mutual decision between both sides to waive the quarterback. according to an ESPN report. Wilks said Mayfield asked to be released after learning he would not be the starting or backup quarterback in Carolina going forward, the report added.
The Panthers (4-8) — still in contention to win the modest NFC South — will continue the season with former Jets quarterback Sam Darnold and PJ Walker.
The Rams will pick up the remaining $1.35 million left on Mayfield’s contract. The former Browns draft pick is in the final year of a four-year, $32.6 million contract and will be a free agent at the end of the season.
“This is a tough business,” Wilks told reporters Monday. “Sitting in this chair, it was a tough decision on my part, but something I felt was the best move for the team moving forward.”
Mayfield is expected to arrive in Los Angeles by Tuesday night and is in line to start under center Thursday against the Las Vegas Raiders at Sofi Stadium. The team is in the process of sending Mayfield the offensive register to ensure the quarterback is ready to play in a short return against the Raiders, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The defending Super Bowl champs bring in Mayfield after placing Matthew Stafford on injured reserve with a spinal cord contusion. Stafford injured his neck in the Week 11 loss to the New Orleans Saints and has not played since. Stafford is eligible to return to action in Week 17 against the Los Angeles Chargers, but Rams coach Sean McVay said “there’s a good chance” the quarterback will be out for the rest of the season.
Stafford’s inability to play made the Rams (3-9) a landing spot for Mayfield, who has a total QBR rating of 18.2 — which ranks last in the NFL among qualified quarterbacks. Mayfield has started just six games for the Panthers this season after the Cleveland Browns traded the quarterback for a conditional 2024 fifth-round pick in July.
Mayfield’s tenure with the Panthers is coming to an end after going 1-5 in the games he has started this season.