Why Baker Mayfield to the Los Angeles Rams won’t work

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Well, it’s official, there’s a new quarterback in town for the Los Angeles Rams. Former number one overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, QB Baker Mayfield, was claimed off waivers on Tuesday by the Rams and will join the team for the rest of the 2022 season.

I understand the idea of the move. Current Rams starting quarterback Matthew Stafford’s season is all but over after being placed on IR. Current Rams’ backup QBs John Wolford and Bryce Perkins aren’t going to provide any long-term answers at the position. Why not take a chance on any remaining potential Baker Mayfield might have?

The problem is, Mayfield’s best more likely than not has already come and gone.

For being a number one overall selection, Baker Mayfield sure needed everything around him to be perfect to succeed. Now that is true for probably half of the starting quarterbacks in the NFL. It simply is easier to perform when you have a great team around you. The problem is Mayfield isn’t entering a perfect situation. And honestly, the LA Rams are a ways away from what Mayfield historically has needed to perform well.

The former Oklahoma QB had his best seasons with a loaded Cleveland Browns roster. In 2020, Mayfield looked like a good quarterback. He had a 26-8 touchdown to interception ratio, along with completing nearly 63 percent of his throws. But it can also be argued that he also had perhaps the most amount of talent around him in his career.

To be his best, Mayfield must be surrounded by the best

In 2020, the Cleveland Browns had the number-one ranked offensive line according to Pro Football Focus. That team also had running back Nick Chubb, who many consider to be a top three at his position, along with receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. Simply put, Baker Mayfield was placed in one of the best situations a QB could’ve been put in. And to his credit, he did perform well.

That did not continue though. The next season, with many of the same pieces in place, Mayfield regressed heavily, posting a 17-13 TD/INT ratio. His QBR also plummeted to 40.9, which ranked 27th in the NFL. The Browns decided they had enough with Baker, trading him to the Carolina Panthers next offseason.

Unfortunately for Mayfield, things didn’t brighten up. While Carolina wasn’t the perfect spot, they also weren’t short on talent. Running back Christian McCaffrey and wide receiver DJ Moore are great weapons on the field. Carolina’s offensive line is solid as well, allowing the 12th fewest total sacks this season. Yet in seven games for the Panthers this season, Mayfield posted just six TDs to six interceptions, and a QBR of 18.3 which ranks 31st in the league.

So now Baker will join the LA Rams, whose situation could be the worst he’s ever been in. The Rams’ offensive line has been atrocious this season. The run game has been non-existent, and receivers Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson are both out.

Now, in the end, Mayfield’s $1.35 million contract will be gone after this season. So it’s such little risk that the LA Rams basically had to try. But there is a reason the Rams were the only team to put a claim in for Mayfield. So I wouldn’t be getting my hopes up for a career revitalization if you’re a Los Angeles Rams fan.

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