Could Baker Mayfield still end up with the Seahawks in 2022?

Well, Mayfield seems to think so.

Appearing on the “Ya Neva Know” podcast that posted Wednesday but was recorded a few weeks ago, Mayfield was asked about his future and initially said “no clue where I’m going.”

Then, when asked to predict, he said, “Oh, man, if this would’ve been about a week and a half ago, I would’ve said Indianapolis (before the Colts traded for Matt Ryan). 

“Um … Seattle? I mean it’d probably be the most likely option. But even then, I have no idea.”

So, hardly a strong statement that it will happen, and seemingly an indication that at the moment, nothing is going on — or that Mayfield doesn’t know about it, anyway (and that’s where it’s worth noting again this was apparently recorded a few weeks ago, as well).

But as long as Seattle’s quarterback situation is what it is — at the moment, only Drew Lock and Jacob Eason are under contract — and Mayfield remains available, speculation will linger.

The Seahawks have openly said they’d like to re-sign Geno Smith, the backup the last three seasons, and coach Pete Carroll also said at the league meetings last month that Seattle will acquire a fourth quarterback.

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But with the draft now two weeks away — the first round is April 28 — the Seahawks might wait to sign Smith after seeing happens during the draft.

Mayfield’s future also is likely dependent on what teams such as Seattle do during the draft — or at least, seeing what might happen as the draft approaches.

What remains the big sticking point with Mayfield is his contract — he is due a fully guaranteed $18.858 million for the 2022 season. 

No team wants to take that on — certainly, Seattle can’t with $15.7 million remaining in cap space for the 2022 season. 

So to facilitate a trade, the Browns will almost certainly have to agree to pay some of Mayfield’s salary (recall that the Houston Texans paid $7 million of Jadeveon Clowney’s $15.9 million salary as part of the conditions of his trade to Seattle in 2019).

Then there’s the matter of what a team would have to give up to get him. At this point, probably not much. But the Browns might hope that maybe a QB-needy team would get more interested during the draft depending on how the draft itself unfolds.

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The Seahawks aren’t thought to want to give up much as they want to give Lock a legitimate shot at the starting job — meaning, they don’t want to invest so much in another QB that it basically makes him the starter ahead of Lock.

And if Seattle really does invest a first- or second-round pick in a quarterback, the Seahawks might be more inclined to fill out the QB spot with a low-cost veteran.

Interestingly, Mayfield’s comments were revealed on the same day that the Seahawks were also reported to have Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder in for an official “top 30″ pre-draft visit.

Ridder is reportedly the first QB Seattle has had in for a pre-draft visit (teams don’t officially announce visits, so there is always a little bit of mystery surrounding them).

Not that pre-draft visits are necessarily an indication of anything. Russell Wilson did not have one with Seattle before he was drafted in 2012. 

But Seattle bringing in one of the top QB prospects — something it hasn’t done for years — indicates what obviously should be expected, that the team is scouring all options as it enters the post-Wilson world.

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What’s also clear is that Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick in 2018, is done with Cleveland — and will end up somewhere else in 2022.

Mayfield said on the podcast he felt “disrespected — 100%” about Cleveland’s pursuit of and eventual trade for Deshaun Watson. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport recently speculated that the Browns could hold on to Mayfield as a hedge against Watson being suspended by the league for violation of its personal conduct policy in relation to sexual assault allegations if it really never got offered anything worth trading for him. But the Browns also have signed Jacoby Brissett as the apparent backup to Watson and more likely is that the Browns would eventually release Mayfield if no deal develops.

And Mayfield indicated strongly he has no desire to help out the Browns.

“I was told one thing and they completely did another,” he said. “That’s what I’m in the middle of right now. I’ve had four different head coaches in four years. A bunch of different coordinators.”

He’ll have a new head coach and coordinator again in 2022. Whether that really could be in Seattle should become clear in the next few weeks.