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Why did the Rams claim Baker Mayfield? Former Browns, Panthers QB headed to LA

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The Rams are just about out of playoff contention at 3-9, but the defending Super Bowl champions aren’t ready to throw in the towel.

Los Angeles claimed Baker Mayfield off waivers from the Panthers on Tuesday, adding the former No. 1 overall pick to an injury-ravaged quarterback room.

The Rams quickly confirmed the news on Twitter without actually confirming it. 

Mayfield was waived by Carolina on Monday, with the Panthers expected to start Sam Darnold at quarterback going forward and PJ Walker backing him up.

MORE: Baker Mayfield’s contract: What the Rams owe after claiming him off waivers

Many connected Mayfield to the 49ers after Jimmy Garoppolo’s foot injury, but San Francisco faced a nearly impossible road to claiming him with so many teams ahead in the waiver order. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the 49ers didn’t put in a claim for Mayfield.

Mayfield struggled across six starts with the Panthers, going 1-5 and completing 57.8 percent of passes for six touchdowns and six interceptions. The former Browns quarterback requested a trade out of Cleveland and has fizzled out since guiding the Browns to a rare playoff appearance in 2020.

Why did the Rams claim Baker Mayfield?

While the Rams face a virtually impossible path to the playoffs, they do need a warm body to play quarterback for the next five weeks. Matthew Stafford was placed on IR with a spinal cord contusion and isn’t expected to return this season, and backup John Wolford is also reportedly dealing with a neck injury.

That left Bryce Perkins as the only healthy quarterback on the Rams’ roster before Mayfield was claimed Tuesday. 

According to Adam Schefter, Mayfield has a chance to play against the Raiders on “Thursday Night Football.” 

The Rams also don’t benefit from losing more games down the stretch, as the Lions hold the rights to their first-round pick. Claiming Mayfield at the very least indicates the franchise isn’t willing to go quietly into the night in this heavily disappointing title defense season.

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Considering Stafford’s injury is to his spinal cord and coach Sean McVay wasn’t able to say when he’ll be fully healthy, the Rams may use this time to evaluate whether Mayfield is worth keeping around as a backup option. Stafford turns 35 in February and has a tendency to take a large number of hits.

If nothing else, the Rams could land a compensatory draft pick if Mayfield leaves as a free-agent after the year.

If Mayfield starts a game for the Rams, he’ll be their fourth different starting quarterback this season.


Credit: sportingnews.com

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