“I’ve Loved Working With Him”

March 12th, 2023

Baker Mayfield is sacked in his first game against the Bucs.

The big news this afternoon is that the Buccaneers are 21 hours from negotiating a contract with free agent quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Joe realizes a chunk of Bucs fans will hate the idea, and that’s ok. Joe doesn’t tell anyone how to be a fan. If you think the best Mayfield can be is a guy who prevents the Bucs from scoring a top draft pick next season, then that’s ok.

Today, Joe is more interested in what the Bucs are doing and why, versus their final season record 10 months from now.

There’s been chatter for years that Mayfield is a locker room cancer, but Joe never found hard evidence. Bizarre discontent always seem to arise in Cleveland, where Mayfield was drafted in 2018. Last July, Mayfield was traded to Carolina and won the starting job from Sam Darnold. An ankle injury in Week 5 led Mayfield to the bench, and Carolina wouldn’t let him back on the field. The Panthers decided to tank, traded or benched top players, and Mayfield asked for his release.

The Rams jumped on Mayfield, quickly inserting him in the starting lineup, and Rams head coach playcaller Sean McVay was filled with Mayfield love with a week remaining last season.

The Rams record was poor, but McVay said Mayfield was a winner in many ways.

“He’s left a huge impression and I think all of his teammates would echo that same sentiment,” McVay said. “Been really impressed with him. I don’t think you can minimize how quickly he’s come in, endeared himself to his teammates, get familiar with some of the vernacular, the verbiage.

“Then you’re going out and playing NFL-caliber football games.”

When McVay delivered those comments, Mayfield had thrown for 703 yards with 4 touchdowns and 1 interception while completing 67 percent of his passes.

“He’s done a great job and if this hasn’t elevated people’s opinions and thoughts of him, I’m not sure what he could’ve done to change whatever the perception is,” McVay said. “I just know I think very highly of him and I’ve loved working with him.”

Joe takes McVay at his word with these comments. Mayfield finished the season on a down note, however, a rough overtime loss at Seattle that included Mayfield eating five sacks and throwing a pick.

78 Responses to ““I’ve Loved Working With Him””

  1. Walter Says:

    Gas him up all you want, he’s had plenty of opportunities to show us who he is. So far, the verdict is “career loser.”

  2. BucfaninMi Says:

    Environment makes a difference, plus the guy has a chip on his shoulder. He can absolutely be great here.

  3. Goatfarmer Says:

    McVay would keep Baker and let go of Stafford if not for Stafford’s contract.

  4. SB~LV Says:

    21 hours from
    Being able to
    The implication is a huge part of the story.
    Oh BTW
    If Aaron Rogers signs with the Jets
    Tom Brady will be a Dolphin this fall
    From my ole 305 contact

  5. Goatfarmer Says:

    Also, Baker seems like the type of player who could overcome the dulling, confusing, horrible head coiching of the Bowels of Toad. Ironically, Baker might save the Toadster.

  6. Zzbuc Says:

    It only Makes sense if they do not spend Big money. If he comes for mid low QB money is a very interesting move.

  7. chark Says:

    The one thing I worry about is Baker saving Bowles job.

  8. westernbuc Says:

    When Baker is healthy he’s a quality starter. He might be a d-bag but he’s a good QB and that’s all I care about

  9. Brian Says:

    Only need him long enough for Hendon Hooker to fully heal and learn playbook, which is about 20 plays😂

  10. Rod Munch Says:

    If McVay loves the guy so much, why don’t they resign him? Why is he going to be on his 4th team in 12-months?

    As for being cancer, who cares. The Bucs have a veteran locker room, at least on offense, and will keep him in line if they need to. Also, who knows, maybe Mayfield gets humbled.

    At the same time, he’s not very good. He’s not a guy that got robbed of playing time or has untapped potential, he’s been a QB, had plenty of chances, and didn’t do anything with it. The only time he was even decent was on the Browns when they easily had the leagues best running game and he wasn’t asked to do much. Pretty much any QB can do well in those circumstances. Here, he’d (hopefully) be asked to throw the ball and use our star WRs. Meanwhile, in Cleveland, they traded to give him a star WR and he refused to use him.

    The only reason 90% of people like Baker is because of those stupid commercials he was in.

  11. Jp09 Says:

    Walter, let’s hear the genius plan you have. All you do is b!tch and complain without ever offering a solution. So let’s hear it, what would Walter do?

  12. Rod Munch Says:

    Goatfarmer Says:
    March 12th, 2023 at 3:26 pm
    McVay would keep Baker and let go of Stafford if not for Stafford’s contract.


    You’re the only saying he’s only going to get $4-6m a year. Any team can fit that in if they want that player. Even if he cost $14-16m a year, which I think is going to be closer to the real cost, no team is letting him walk if they think he can really lead the team. The Saints were like $60m over the cap last year and gave Winston $28m/2yr deal, and they’re $50m over the cap this year and gave Carr $150m/4yr deal.

  13. Hodad Says:

    If neither team is going to pay him big money, why not resign with the Rams? Stafford will no doubt get hurt again, and gone after this year. The Bucs want Trask to win the job, so why go anywhere? L.A. is a much bigger market also. Stay with a winner McVay, or come play for Bowles? Easy choice if you ask me.

  14. Dooley Says:

    As much as I dislike the sound of the idea of bringing Mayfield in I think he’d be a good candidate to compete with Kyle Trask considering the discrepancy of exp between the two. Also warming up to the idea we’ll take another QB later, still wouldn’t mind Hooker if he falls in our range or we move into his, but DTR as a 3rd QB with Mayfield & Trask would make for a pretty interesting comp through camp and the preseason. 3 games preseason games, let each guy get a start with the 1s or 2s and may the best man win. 2 QBs is alright with me, but I’d prefer 3 viable options and banking on us having at least 3 QBs in rookie camp.

  15. Rod Munch Says:

    Here’s the stats from the last two seasons for Baker…

    8-16 record
    5173 yards in 26 games (about 3200 yards per 16 games)
    27 TDs
    21 INTs
    81.3 QB rating

    Those are Trent Dilfer like numbers.

    Additionally his QBr was 35.1 in 2021 and 24.5 in 2022. In QBr, those are very bad numbers – and QBr, unlike the old QB rating system, is actually a good way to judge passers as it takes into account things like down and distance and the game situation (so you’re not penalized, for example, for throwing an INT on a hail mary).

    I have no idea how anyone could be excited about this. If he’s truly brought in, on the cheap, in an honest competition, then I guess I’m OK with it, but, again, there’s no upside here, he is who he is. I’d much rather just go all-in with Trask and see what you have.

  16. Walter Says:

    Jp09 Says:
    March 12th, 2023 at 3:36 pm
    Walter, let’s hear the genius plan you have. All you do is b!tch and complain without ever offering a solution. So let’s hear it, what would Walter do?


    Plan A would be commit to winning and attempting to negotiate a deal for Lamar Jackson because he’s a proven weapon.

    Plan B would be to just roll with Trask as the starter and try to land the #1 pick in next years draft for Caleb Williams. The #1 pick would be a nice carrot to lure in your next head coach after you’re done firing Bowles.

    Signing Mayfield makes no sense. He’s not taking this team to the playoffs, but he’ll probably win enough games to cost us a premium draft pick and set us back even further on our search for a franchise QB. It’s a lose-lose situation.

    I have no clue what some posters here have seen from Mayfield that gives them any confidence that the bum is going to become a serviceable QB in Tampa. Probably just “hope.”

  17. Rod Munch Says:

    Walter – I completely agree with you, except for the Lamar part. While I’d love to see Lamar come here, the Ravens couldn’t get him to sign a deal, so this is their way of telling him to test the market – and regardless of what other teams come up with, the Ravens will just match it. They’re not letting him go, certainly not for two late 1st round picks.

    But everything else I agree with. Mayfield is likely going to cost the Bucs a 4th round comp pick next year, maybe more depending on his contract, and he’s not taking the team to the playoffs. All he is going to do to take snaps away from Trask and next offseason we’ll have to listen to all the stupid Trask fanbois talking about how great he is and how he just hasn’t had a chance to show it yet.

  18. Cobraboy Says:

    Mayfield > Gabbart, or a gaggle of other possible 2nd/3rd tier FA QBs

  19. sasquatch Says:

    He’s still a young player. There’s upside. I haven’t been a fan of his, but a lot of people seem to think highly of him, including Todd Monken.

  20. Goatfarmer Says:

    Rod Munch — the $6 million is a number I think the Bucs can afford to spend on a veteran QB who has a playoff win on his resume’ — if he costs much more than that I doubt we can afford him. Stafford and his contract are why the Rams aren’t keeping Baker, and they need to afford some more offensive weapons.

    And chark — I worry about it saving the Bloweszo too, but on the other hand, if Baker saves the Toadster, it most mean they won so can’t really bitch about that.

  21. D-Rok Says:

    Mayfield does have upside, and he can win games. My only instant comment/thought about him is that he seems to be inconsistent.

    Not a knock on Trask, but nobody knows how he’ll do in the NFL, whereas, we have tape on Mayfield.

    Good addition if it comes to fruition, and we could worse for a QB FA signing.

  22. Letsbucinggo Says:

    Great now endless articles of cry baby mayfield boo hoo this is the best we can do rather have jaboo.

  23. BuccanBest Says:

    I sure hope this is true, good value QB that can help a younger rebuilding team get better. Also, love the idea of drafting Hooker. Trask (h) isn’t the guy!!

  24. Defense Rules Says:

    IF we could get Mayfield for $4-$6 mil per year, I’d say go for it. For some reason, me thinks that’s unrealistically low. Paying any more than that for a 2nd QB to compete with Trask drastically lessens our capability to sign or re-sign OTHER FAs (like LVD) who we desperately need.

    Let’s REBUILD THE TEAM from the trenches out, before we worry about the ‘Bucs QB of the future’. Trask MAY be that guy; let’s find out first. IF he had come out in the draft this year, I’ll bet that he’d be a 1st-Rounder. And IF that was the case & we drafted him, we’d be starting him. The only reason he sat on the bench for 2 years was because of being behind The GOAT.

    We’ve got to see what we’ve got in him though, and we’ll never see that with him on the bench. If Trask does poorly, then the light at the end of the tunnel is a high draft pick in 2024 … supposedly a very good year for QBs. And in the meantime we’ll have a chance to rebuild the team with TWO drafts (2023 & 2024) in preparation for a rookie QB. Sounds to me like a Bengals’ scenario when they drafted Burrows.

  25. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Could this be a smokescreen?

  26. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    I might be ok with Baker, at the right price. And that price has to be under 10M per year for sure! This QB market is so nuts though, I bet he may command more than 10M and I don’t want him for that much money.

  27. Redeemer Says:

    Rod to answer your question, because Stafford’s dead cap hit in 2023 would be 49 5 million. From my understanding they have little choice but to keep him on the roster, or completely redo his deal. I’m no Baker Mayfield fan but they could and probably will do a hell of a lot worse.

  28. DJB Says:

    Oh boy, get RayJay tidied up, the Mayfields are movin’ in.

  29. Mike S Says:

    The only problem I have is Baker isn’t coming here to do anything but start and if he doesn’t start he’ll be a distraction.

    Yeah Baker has some juice, but why draft a QB in the second round if you are going to bring in a guy that has washed out at three other places?

    Will Baker be content to carry the clipboard and be a positive presence in the QB room?

    Smells like a hail mary play for Bowles to see if he can catch lightning in a bottle and save his job.

    Meanwhile the guy you drafted in the 2nd round is rotting on the bench.

  30. Nicholas Carlson Says:

    I’m ok with him if they make it a real competition and draft QBs early in 23 and 24

  31. Tnoles Says:

    Sign him. Not the best qb in the league but either was Stafford. He was a #1 pick for a reason the dude is a baller and will leave it all out on the field. I’m hoping with Canales he will be put in a advantageous situation with run first and roll out options on offense you could do worse. For what it’s worth he has gone to the playoffs and is a young vet. If you go with Trask and he craps the bed then what??? Tank for Caleb?? Good luck! It’s an arm’s race in the south you gotta do something to keep up with the division. Has anyone seen who are the F/A qbs after this coming season? It’s garbage. I believe Canales can work with this guy and I bet he beats out Trask otherwise why would they be going after him imo. Go Bucs, I just don’t want to f
    All into the abyss and maybe this is the best option

  32. Oxycondoms Says:

    Trask can tell his kids one day that he was the 3rd best qb in the division for a short period of time during an offseason

  33. LakelandSteve Says:

    Who do the fans think we can get with basically chump change to play quarterback here. I’m all for giving Mayfield a shot. He’s proven he can win games in the NFL, has Trask? Let’s give Canales a chance to get the running game going and let Mayfield to sling it to Evans and Godwin. Win, lose or draw it will definitely be entertaining.

  34. Jason Sharp Says:

    Would be stoked to bring in Mayfield. Kid could be could in the right situation. The right situation may be with the Bucs. He will beat out Trask.

  35. TF Says:

    Gardner Minshew is the way better option but luckily for him the Bucs are settling for a QB that has zero expectation is guaranteed to lose the job at SOME point during the season to Trask. That’s what they want. Zero QB controversy. If we went with the more consistent, reliable Minshew I think we have a better shot of keeping our pieces together. He has WAY better decision making skills and that is needed with a young offensive line and a run heavy offense. I’m not super excited about Baker and what’s in store. Hopefully Canales can show the world something now that he is center stage.

  36. firethecannons Says:

    what happened to Hendon Hooker plan?

  37. firethecannons Says:

    Brian Says:
    March 12th, 2023 at 3:32 pm
    Only need him long enough for Hendon Hooker to fully heal and learn playbook, which is about 20 plays😂

    ok Lets roll with this

  38. Crickett Baker Says:

    Alarm BELLS!! ..” injured ankle week 5″…I vote NO MORE new players with injury history, and we already know his style of play could lead to more. Look at players named Suh or LVD that are available every game. We need more of that kind. I guess if the Ravens don’t match a lowball offer from us, I would take him, but
    I certainly would not count on him to do much for our team.

  39. Patrick Says:

    Lol. Baker Mayfield isn’t saving anyone’s job. Baker Mayfield won’t even beat Trask for 1 on the depth chart. In case anybody hadn’t noticed by the way, we weren’t very good last year, and we had Tom Brady. This football team will be lucky to win 5 or 6 games this year, and if that’s enough to save “reload” alternate reality Bowles, they will be playing in an empty stadium in 2024. As far as Mayfield, if they play him over that kid and not give him a chance, Kyle Trask will just go to another team and win a SB in a few years, and the cycle will be complete. “Back to the 80’s right after Brady.” Perfect sequel.

  40. adam from ny Says:

    literally, put a cot in the boiler room for him 🙂

  41. Arn Platz Says:

    I like Baker, plays with some fire in the belly. Question: Has Baker ever had this talented a receiving corps?

    My 305 source is also saying TB-12 is coming to Miami….stay tuned

  42. steele Says:

    Before we can make any informed opinions on any QB options, what is the offensive system that Rah Rah Canales and Bowles, the boss are putting into place? (Yes, he’s the boss and will not allow Canales total independence, any more than Leftwich had.)

    It’s a wide entire spectrum from pocket statue to Jalen Hurts 2.0. What’s it going to be?

    How serious is this upcoming season going to be? A fun experiment with low expectations, an alleged “all-in” (because we are “so playoff ready”), or some weird hybrid?

    It would be one thing if we were starting fresh with a new HC and new OC/DC and staff, and some big picture direction. We aren’t.

  43. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    Geno Smith finally got a legit chance with a good coaching staff and good weapons, and at age 30 turned in a fantastic season for the first time. Baker is 28, has had a real mixed bag of inconsistency on the roster, with questionable coaching. He has the talent and confidence to be a top 10 QB…. Maybe just maybe this is the shot he needs. And if not, Caleb Williams here we come!

  44. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    I will reiterate something I just said in the previous post regarding Mayfield in another way.  If we can create a QB room with competition for two untested young ones with high upside potential such as Trask and Hooker plus two not entirely unsalvageable “veteran” or journeyman guys who don’t break the bank we can be in a win-win situation this year and next.  We can give ourselves a chance to win the NFC South as well as sort out our QB talent pool realistically this season. 

    Don’t forget to consider our unproven new offensive coordinator with his new staff in your evaluations.  This will be a year of uncertainty for all fans but, it can hopefully turn into an exciting one.  I for one just don’t know enough to even hazard a guess how things will all shake out nine months from now.  There are too many variables for me at this point.

    Go Bucs!

  45. Joe Says:

    Before we can make any informed opinions on any QB options, what is the offensive system that Rah Rah Canales and Bowles, the boss are putting into place?

    Joe has written about this several times already. smh 🤦‍♂️ (sigh).

    Canales or Bowles isn’t going to broadcast exactly what the offense is going to be for obvious reasons. Clearly Canales is heavily influenced by Pete Carroll so Seattle’s offense is a good place to start to get an idea of Bucs offense should look like.

  46. Goatfarmer Says:

    Mike S – Trask was a second round pick because the Bucs over-drafted him and picked last. Most had him as a 4th rounder. And, better he rot in the bench than cause the entire team to rot on the field.

    He’ll be swell at the Rudy Carpenter / Ryan Griffin role. Meanwhile, good to see the Bucs are trying to give their offense a chance with multiple options.

  47. David Says:

    I think it’s just a dumb dumb move to get any Vet quarterback who’s halfway decent, which he is, to keep them just mediocre enough to prevent building for the future. They’re going to go nowhere in that approach.

    They should see what they have with Trask this year, bring in veteran back up, not starter, and another young QB if they can find one for 3rd string.

    While clearing cap space, cutting vets, and gathering draft picks to use for the future, they can see what they have with him. If he does not work out, they should be set up to draft their franchise QB next year with more pieces in place for whoever that may be.

    That would be my approach anyway. Getting a vet quarterback with this group- at best is going to be a struggle to get to .500 football. That approach for a few years is what got Gruden fired.

  48. David Says:

    Seriously, nothing against him, he’s above average, but where is that going to get the team over the course of the next several years? Picking up a free agent quarterback to become a Super Bowl contender is extremely rare. Stafford, Brady, Manning… who else??
    If you want to be relevant for a decade, you have to find your franchise quarterback in the draft

    This is a formula towards mediocrity

  49. Oxycondoms Says:

    Trask is a slow learner. Learning a new offense is going to set him back.

  50. Vanessa Anne Says:

    Please, for the love of God, no!

  51. Greg Says:

    NOOOOO!!!! Talk is bullspit especially this time of year. Mayfield had an attitude coming out of college and as soon as the browns could cut him they did. He couldn’t win the job in Carolina and they dumped him mid season. If McVay loves him so much why doesn’t he keep him? Stafford is always hurt so having a great guy as a backup would make sense wouldn’t it? I think Trask will beat him if there is a real competition but if the Bucs have to give Mayfield a contract that’s cheap this year but balloons up next year do you really think they are giving Trask a chance?

  52. Goatfarmer Says:

    Again, you tank and rebuild fans – it’s taken the Bucs 25 years to do two rebuilds.

    Look at the Steelers. Tomlin hasn’t ever had a losing season. They don’t tank, they assemble the best possible roster under the circumstances and compete every year.

    That’s the way to do it. This “tank to rebuild” stuff is a Madden game fantasy. Stop.

  53. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Baker Mayfield……..Bucs QB Du Jour

  54. Pryda...Sec 147 Says:

    Best cheap option to take on Trask in Training camp going to be fun Add Hooker and we really cooking

  55. Bucs56 Says:

    Love ìt. High upside and low downside contract. Great move.

  56. Beej Says:

    Spotrac says he’s worth $6.5 mil per year for a 2 year contract, that’s reasonable. They can add incentives in case he becomes the starter and kills it

  57. larrd Says:

    Mayfield is good. The best affordable option. It was a mess in Cleveland, starting off with Hue Jackson as coach and starring in all the commercials, etc., before he’d done anything. But he can be very accurate and has a surprisingly strong arm for his size. He’s too short, but maybe having a couple bigger receivers like Evans and Godwin will help. He is like a “point guard” in a way, like the new OC keeps talking about.

    I’d still rather hand it over to Trask. Maybe he’ll beat Baker out and then play well. If he can’t, it’s a good move.

  58. brooks Says:

    Yes love it will sell tickets

  59. Stanglassman Says:

    Got to take the Qb off the high drive. Can he play catch? If Canales can make Geno Smith look like a perennial pro bowler then what can he do with Mayfield? I’m willing to give it a shot. At least when the Bucs win now the Team will get the credit and not just Brady. That got tiring fast.

  60. Oneilbuc Says:

    Goatformer. I agree 💯 percent I didn’t know why people want to tank that has never worked out for us . And I said the same thing about the Steelers their about winning not tanking. The only way we become a great franchise is to keep trying to win every year and stop trying to tank for one player that’s not going to change nothing.

  61. Oneilbuc Says:

    I don’t know.

  62. ScottyMack Says:

    I’d love for all of these Mayfield haters to name a team he has been with that had anywhere near the caliber of uninjured receivers that the Bucs have.

    Also keep in mind that after his impressive 2020 season, everyone was heralding him as the next great QB. He was injured early the following season and tried everything he could do to come back and give his team a chance at the playoffs. Alas, his injury was too much for him to conquer.

    He started the first 5 games for Carolina but got injured and never made it back onto the field, requesting a release from the Panthers after they decided to tank the season halfway through (but somehow, amazingly didn’t).

    He looked very good as a Ram. That is, if you actually watch a QB play and don’t base your judgments solely on stats. He’s reasonably mobile, does not lock in on receivers, studying all of his options and picks up an offensive very fast – something no coach has ever said about Kyle Trask – and something EXTREMELY IMPORTANT with a new offensive coordinator.

    I’d love to see him wearing a Bucs jersey and am quite confident he will beat Kyle Trask out for the starter’s job.

  63. Oneilbuc Says:

    Baker Mayfield is trash y’all if they bring him in we are tanking because Baker Mayfield will start because of the money they are paying him . I rather draft a quarterback and let him compete against Trask . Baker Mayfield has played with good defenses and good recivers with a running game and he sucked. He’s been with 3 different teams and all of them let him go . So what makes y’all think he’s going to be good here ??

  64. Oneilbuc Says:

    Scotty . If that’s true than why every team he played for cut him ??

  65. Mord Says:

    Among bargain FA QBs does anyone else think Minshew or Heinicke could be better? Both seem to be spark plugs who make plays .. and might be better additions to the locker room.

    Idk. Mayfield could be good, but he’d pretty much *have to* be the starter, no?

  66. Rand Says:

    If we’re definitely looking to rid ourselves of Bowles and have a higher draft pick in 24 then by all means sell our soul for Mayfield. He will quit on the Bucs halfway through next season in frustration when he’s losing games.

  67. Buc4evr Says:

    Brissett instead of Mayfield.

  68. Bucfan77 Says:

    Another overall #1 pick qb flop…..like Testaverde and Jameis

  69. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    If they make an offer to Baker, it will be a 1-2 year low-ball offer. But I doubt there is any truth to this. More likely, the agent is trying to drum up interest.

  70. Eric Says:

    This is where losing the GOAT really sinks in.

    Going from the prom queen to the big girl from gym class.

  71. PolkCountyWayne Says:

    I agree will goatfarmer about tanking, da Bucs should try to win even in pre season.
    Bowles isn’t the answer, team never should’ve dropped off that badly last season.

  72. PolkCountyWayne Says:

    da Bucs should try to win even in pre season.
    Bowles isn’t the answer, team never should’ve dropped off that badly last season.

  73. captivajim Says:

    bowls lauded defense will be on the field a Lot ;; having to respond to more than a few int’s by Mayfield……

  74. Idahobucfan4life Says:

    Sign him and put a premium on protecting him with a solid O-line like the Bucs did for Brady.

  75. firethecannons Says:

    Rod Munch says: I’d much rather just go all-in with Trask and see what you have. me too except I want to get Hooker in the draft and roll with that or just roll with Trask and we finish with #1 overall draft pick 2024

  76. fishhawkbuc Says:

    He is a smaller white version of JW

  77. Rod Munch Says:

    fishhawkbuc Says:
    March 13th, 2023 at 8:15 am
    He is a smaller white version of JW


    You mean he has all the turnovers of Winston, without any of the production. The guy is the definition of a bust, yet idiots watch his commercials and they think, man, he loves football so much he lives in the stadium. They Mayfield fans are literally that stupid.

  78. BucBuckeye Says:

    The Trask hype is almost to level of Fameis Winston.

    This guy didn’t look good even WITH the starting receivers in clean up opportunities.

    He’ll get a chance, but I’m not expecting much, given that he couldn’t even beat out Blaine Gabbert for the back-up role with our Bucs.