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Former Rams QB John Wolford joins Baker Mayfield on Bucs

Wolford was the Rams longest-tenured QB

Las Vegas Raiders v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed their second former Los Angeles Rams quarterback of the offseason, inking John Wolford to a new contract after landing Baker Mayfield in free agency. Mayfield is set to compete for the starting job with Kyle Trask, and Wolford likely slots in third on the depth chart for now.

Rams fans were disappointed when Mayfield left for Tampa Bay in free agency, as many felt he’d be better served to rehab his career and image through a backup role at this point in his career. Instead he chose a destination where he has a chance to start, and the Bucs have enough pass catching talent to help him be successful.

Whoever wins the starting gig will still have Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Russell Gage, and Code Otton at their disposal. Tampa Bay also signed Kade Warner, son of former Rams Hall of Fame QB Kurt Warner, during the undrafted free agency period. The Buccaneers also picked up DT Greg Gaines this offseason, so Tampa Bay has been a popular landing spot for former Rams players this year.

Wolford ran his course with the Rams after serving as the primary backup for the last three seasons. He impressed in limited action filling in for Jared Goff back in 2020, and his mobile skillset eventually led to the trade that swapped Goff for Matthew Stafford.

But when Stafford was shut down around the mid-point of the 2022 season, Wolford fell well short of expectations. An erratic pass resulted in a season-ending injury for star receiver Cooper Kupp. Wolford was also dealing with a lingering neck injury of his own and split reps with third-string QB Bryce Perkins. LA claimed Mayfield off waivers from the Carolina Panthers in early December and the team never looked back—Mayfield was an immediate upgrade over both Wolford and Perkins in terms of arm talent and the ability to run the offense.

The Rams have since reinforced their second string on the QB depth chart by selecting Georgia’s Stetson Bennett in the fourth round, and they picked up free agent Brett Rypien last week to provide a veteran presence to the position group.