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NFL News and Notes for Friday, July 8th, 2022

Even though most of the heavy lifting has been done for teams around the NFL, this week has seen a handful of important signings and a pretty significant trade. Let’s take a look at the major stories around the NFL this week.

Mayfield Finally Traded

Since the day that the Cleveland Browns acquired Deshaun Watson in a trade, it seemed inevitable that quarterback Baker Mayfield would be traded. This week, it finally happened. First reported by’s Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport, Mayfield was traded to the Carolina Panthers earlier this week.

Mayfield gives the Panthers a boost over incumbent quarterback Sam Darnold. Last year, the 27-year-old Mayfield threw for 3,010 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions in 14 games. In that span, he was 6-8 and had a passing completion percentage of 60.5%.

Overall, Mayfield’s numbers were down last year, but that is partially due to a shoulder injury that he played through for most of the season. Having had surgery in the offseason, Mayfield is expected to be ready for the beginning of the season.

At first glance, the return seems light for Mayfield. The Panthers are only sending a draft pick that will land somewhere in either the fourth or fifth round, according to Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports. The exact round will be determined by Mayfield’s on-field play.

While this trade has seemingly been in the works for several weeks, it was the salary figures being agreed on that finally got it over the hump as all three parties made concessions. For Mayfield, he agreed to a $3.5 million cut off of his $18.9 million salary, with the ability to earn it back through incentives.

For Carolina, they have agreed to take on $5 million of the salary while the Browns will pay the remaining $10.5 million.

Interestingly, these two teams square off in Week 1, so Mayfield will immediately have his opportunity to show his old team why he should have remained the franchise quarterback.

Given that Deshaun Watson is likely facing a lengthy suspension, the Browns will face a Browns team in the opening week who is without their best quarterback. That would also mean that backup Jacoby Brissett would probably get the start for the Browns.

The Panthers have the third-best odds of winning the NFC South at +950, and they are +10000 to win the Super Bowl. For the Browns, they are +280 to win the AFC North and +3400 to win the Super Bowl.

Atlanta Brings In Help At Defensive Tackle

Trying to help fortify a defense that ranked 29th in scoring defense, allowing 27 points per game, the Atlanta Falcons have brought in Eddie Goldman to help with their defensive line.

At 28 years old, Goldman had played with the Chicago Bears since he was drafted in the second round in 2015. Goldman opted out of the 2020 season, but he returned last year to play in 14 games, amassing 22 tackles, 0.5 sacks, and a quarterback hit.

His best season came in 2018 when he had 40 tackles, three sacks, and a fumble recovery, and the Falcons are hoping that he can return to that level of production.

Atlanta currently has the worst odds of winning the NFC South at +2500, and they have the second-worst odds of winning the Super Bowl at +25000.

Ravens Bring Back Houston

On Thursday, the Baltimore Ravens announced that they have brought back edge rusher Justin Houston on a one-year deal.

After playing for the Kansas City Chiefs for eight seasons and the Indianapolis Colts for two, last year with the first season in Baltimore for the 33-year-old Houston.

In 15 games last season, Houston had 34 tackles, 4.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.

Houston’s best season was back in 2014 with the Chiefs when he had 69 tackles, 22 sacks, and four forced fumbles. While those days are gone, he still showed that he can be a valuable part of a defense that ranked 18th in scoring defense, allowing 23.1 points per game.

Baltimore enters the season as the favorites to win the AFC North (+160), and they are tied for the 10th-best odds of winning the Super Bowl (+2000).

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