It looks like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are attempting to go from one Hall of Fame quarterback to the next. According to sources being leaked to the NFL Network group chat, the Bucs are expected to pursue Baker Mayfield in free agency when the tampering period opens on Monday.
While it has not been clear yet how many teams will view Mayfield as a potential starter, any quarterback with starting experience who gets signed by Tampa Bay will definitely have that opportunity. Following the retirement of Tom Brady, only Kyle Trask remains on the roster for 2023.
When free agency begins, the #Bucs are expected to target ex-#Rams QB Baker Mayfield as a potential starting QB option, per me and @MikeGarafolo. This could be competition for Kyle Trask, their former 2nd-round pick, who the team likes a lot. As TB plots life without Tom Brady… pic.twitter.com/9PmbTG0tYW— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 12, 2023
It would seem that Blaine Gabbert is not the heir apparent after all.
Mayfield started 10 games for the Panthers and Rams in 2022, going 2-8 as a starter with 60% completions, 10 touchdowns, eight interceptions, and 6.5 Y/A. Fittingly, Matthew Stafford also had 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions, but in nine games instead of 10 so clearly he was much better.
(Clearly, he was much better. Just needs to be much healthier and have much health around him.)
Whether Mayfield wants to be thrown into the fire again or accept a backup role in a great situation could be up to Mayfield. An offer from the Bucs would be one from a team that still has some great weapons for now and won a Super Bowl the year before L.A. did. They are also close to finally being under the cap, so the money to sign Mayfield should be there but they likely can’t go much higher than that.
If the team isn’t comfortable with Trask after two years behind Brady though, how soon are they going to be drafting another quarterback of the future?