The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are moving on with life after Tom Brady, which means they need a new quarterback. According to Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo, they are expected to target veteran QB Baker Mayfield to fill that spot once free agency begins.
Mayfield and his longtime team, the Cleveland Browns, parted ways after the 2021 season, with the Browns trading him to the Carolina Panthers. He spent the first 12 weeks of the 2022 season with the Panthers, appearing in seven games and making six starts. He won just one of those starts and was placed on waivers, where he was selected by the Los Angeles Rams. He spent the rest of the season with LA, winning just one of his four starts. Overall, the 27-year-old went 2-8 as a starter, and on the heels of a disastrous 2021, it looked like his days as a rotating backup QB were rapidly drawing to a close.
Books may be giving him a lifeline. Whoever Mayfield signs with next, it will be his fourth club in three years, and he hasn’t played even close to peak Mayfield, at least for a long time. There may not be a lot of opening opportunities for him. At least in Tampa, he’ll have a chance to compete against 25-year-old Kyle Trask for the job. And he will get another chance (his third) to rediscover his form and try to revive his career.
Now, is that opportunity worth the prospect of being known as “Tom Brady’s replacement”? It’s a chance to start in the NFL, so maybe, but with free agency opening on Wednesday, we’ll soon find out for sure.