The Bucs have their quarterback succession in place, and it goes from one of the greatest players of all time to one of the biggest No. 1 overall pick busts of all time.
There’s hardly a good option when it comes to replacing the G.O.A.T. Tom Brady, but there are….less desirable ones. In one of the more laughable moves of NFL free agency, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers went out and secured Baker Mayfield as their quarterback for 2023.
No one can compare to Brady, but in this case, Mayfield really doesn’t compare.
After seeing the Saints get Derek Carr, the Falcons get Taylor Heinicke, and the Panthers get Andy Dalton, the Bucs were understandably feeling a little left out.
On Wednesday, the Bucs went out and reeled in their own big catch, proudly holding it up for all the league to see: former Los Angeles Rams quarterback Baker Mayfield.
Little do they know, they’re about to get catfished.
Mayfield and the Bucs reportedly agreed to a one-year contract worth up to $8.5 million, locking the former No. 1 pick down as Tampa Bay’s quarterback for the 2023 season.
Buccaneers take the bait for Baker Mayfield and agree to a one-year deal for 2023
This will be Mayfield’s fourth team in the last three years and will likely be his last shot at proving himself as a reliable starting quarterback.
Six years after he was drafted first overall, all indications from his career so far is that Mayfield is not “that guy” and may never be “that guy.”
The Cleveland Browns first took a chance on Mayfield, and the doe-eyed Oklahoma product led the Browns to a few seasons of success, including a short playoff run in 2020. Mayfield recorded nearly 2,000 passing yards in Cleveland yet became the running gag of a joke for frequently overthrowing his passes. With a touchdown-interception ratio of 92-56 through four seasons, he just wasn’t the franchise signal-caller the Browns envisioned for their future (which, as it turns out, is a highly controversial quarterback with a history of sexual misconduct).
Last offseason, the ever-sensitive Mayfield left his bullies in Cleveland and tried to make a home on the Carolina Panthers. But his Panthers teammates didn’t even want him, and that marriage combusted within a year. He then got picked up by the Rams down the stretch of the 2022 season, where his most memorable performance was a 51-14 rout of the Denver Broncos in Week 16.
With Matthew Stafford returning for 2023, Mayfield probably still believes he’s capable of starting for a team and didn’t want to play backup. He’ll now join an NFC South quarterback landscape that looks unrecognizable from the year before — at least Mayfield himself and the Bucs are confident in his rapidly fading potential, even if no one else is.