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Rams claim former No. 1 pick Baker Mayfield off waivers; Niners didn’t make claim for QB

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Baker goes to Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Rams said former No. 1 overall Baker Mayfield has waived the rights to the Carolina Panthers, NFL Network insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero said Tuesday afternoon. The deal was later formalized through league channels.

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Mayfield, who was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 2018 NFL Draft, was waived by the Panthers on Monday for his first season with the Carolinas.

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The San Francisco 49ers, who were without a Trey Lance starting lineup until the end of the season and lost Jimmy Garoppolo at least until the playoffs, were thought to be Mayfield fans, but they (like every other team except The Rams did not file a lawsuit against Mayfield, Rapoport said.

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Instead, he ended up on the other side of NFC West.

The bottom-seeded Rams, who are likely to be without starting Matthew Stafford for the rest of the season, add Mayfield to the QB room, which includes John Woolford and Bryce Perkins. Mayfield was scheduled to fly to Los Angeles on Tuesday afternoon but is unlikely to be available for the Rams this week as they play the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday night, Pelissero added.

Sitting 3-9 in the basement of the NFC West, Los Angeles limps to the end of a tough campaign that has seen Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald and many others injured in the Super Bowl season since.

Mayfield’s addition is somewhat unexpected given the Rams’ current position, but at least he’ll have a few weeks to get used to head coach Sean McVeigh’s system.

“He’s one of those guys, he’s going to go out there and compete. Definitely glad to have him in the room,” Rams offensive coordinator Liam Cohen told reporters on Tuesday. “Honestly, it’s kind of acquiring talent and getting someone to come and appreciate it, but also our offense. Continuing to evaluate the attack, other players. It’s more about acquiring talent. we can continue to develop competitive character inside the room.”

With Mayfield joining the Rams, the Panthers have cleared the remainder of his $1.4 million debt this season.

After four unsuccessful campaigns in Cleveland, Mayfield was traded from the Browns to the Panthers this summer. He struggled to establish a 1–5 record as a starter, completing 119 of 206 passes (57.8%) for 1,313 yards, six touchdowns, and six interceptions. After losing position on the depth chart to Sam Darnold and PJ Walker, his days at Charlotte ended on Monday.

Now Mayfield is heading to Los Angeles, where he will have another chance to fix his career. Notably, Mayfield will also begin playing under his seventh head coach (two of them interim) in his fifth season as he moves under McVeigh’s training tree.

“If it’s something that can give a spark and someone who can come in and help us compete to win football games, then that’s the ultimate goal for the last five weeks of the season,” Cohen said.

In a tumultuous season for the reigning Super Bowl champions, at least there’s some intrigue in the city.


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