A Baker Mayfield frontrunner emerged early this week after the Las Vegas Raiders made the surprising decision to sign Jimmy Garoppolo.
Heading into free agency two teams were viewed as legitimate contenders for both Mayfield and Garoppolo – the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Raiders.
With Garoppolo now in Las Vegas, the path is wide open for Mayfield to end up replacing Tom Brady in Tampa Bay.
As noted by NFL insider Ian Rapoport, a deal may now be imminent.
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
Mayfield obviously had an awful 2021-22 season. He went 2-8 as a starter during stints with both the Carolina Panthers and Los Angeles Rams. Beyond that, he amassed a career-low 2163 passing yards, just 10 passing scores and a 60.0 completion percentage.
By any objective measure, Mayfield’s wife’s provocative photos are far more impressive than anything he managed to accomplish last year.
Heading into the offseason two teams were said to be eyeing him, but realistically only the Bucs seem like legit suitors at the moment.
While Mayfield’s latest videos of him throwing the ball and his off-the-field dramas like his leaked DMs scandal don’t leave a ton to be desired, being a former Heisman winner and star at Oklahoma has built up a certain amount of equity for him.
In the eyes of some in the league, he simply hasn’t gotten the right opportunity to shine. Whether that is true or not is debatable.
The Denver Broncos’ quarterback situation is looking promising. https://t.co/gIlrUoFQ1C
— Game 7 (@game7__) March 14, 2023
Mayfield will likely get one more chance to be a starter in the NFL.
That said, if he can’t win with a Super Bowl-level roster like the ones the Buccaneers have, he won’t get another shot.
Will Mayfield be able to salvage his career in Tampa Bay? An answer will emerge soon enough.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.