Long-Time NFL Beat Writer Thinks Baker Mayfield Is Coming To Tampa Bay (Not Just To Hit Up Clearwater Beach)

March 1st, 2023

Bucs’ target?

The braintrust of the Bucs made it clear yesterday while speaking to #NFLMedia at the combine in downtown Indianapolis. Kyle Trask will have every opportunity in the world to win the starting quarterback gig this fall.

But if he doesn’t, what then? The Bucs currently have no other quarterback on the payroll for the 2023 season.

That will change, AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht and head coach Todd Bowles said yesterday. The Bucs will likely add a couple of quarterbacks. Could be a free agent. Could be in the draft. Could be both. Bowles said he wants two veterans.

Armed with this information, former long-time Miami Herald Dolphins beat guy, Pro Football Hall of Fame selector and current Outkick NFL columnist Armondo Salguero tried to piece together a puzzle of what the Bucs are seeking: a skilled veteran who won’t break the budget for the suddenly cost-conscious Bucs.

Salguero believes he solved the puzzle. And the answer is… Baker Mayfield.

Mayfield has also been replaced in Cleveland and released by Carolina, but he has experience with veteran wide outs. He has had moments of clarity, even last year with the Los Angeles Rams when he completed 63.3 percent of his passes and threw 4 TDs and 2 interceptions after arriving from Carolina.

And then there’s the fact Bowles liked Mayfield when the Jets he coached at the time were evaluating quarterbacks for the 2018 draft. The Jets picked Darnold that draft, but Bowles liked Mayfield better.

Licht and Bowles are walking a tightrope, Salguero believes. They may want Trask to start but if he struggles, it could ignite a locker room blaze. If Trask beats out Mayfield (or some other veteran), Trask, and by proxy Licht and Bowles, earn valuable locker room street cred.

If the locker room believes Trask was forced on them, it could blow up in the Bucs’ faces, Salguero reasons.

Besides, as Salguero points out, unless Trask starting is part of a coordinated sink-or-swim plan (a “bad” season resulting in a “good” draft slot in 2024) leading to Trask and the Bucs fall off the cliff, Team Glazer might start throwing bodies off the pirate ship. And it may not be just players.

Todd Bowles is today’s guest on the Ira Kaufman Podcast, presented by Bill Currie Ford.

55 Responses to “Long-Time NFL Beat Writer Thinks Baker Mayfield Is Coming To Tampa Bay (Not Just To Hit Up Clearwater Beach)”

  1. BarnacleBoy Says:

    Bring it on. That would be very very interesting. A soap opera daily.

  2. MadMax Says:

    Ive been seeing stuff, hearing stuff….I dont know.

    A cheap 1 year prove it contract? Why not….

  3. Allbuccedup Says:

    No Mayfield, No Donald and please No Wentz. They all just play good enough to lose. So if you beat out one of these guys doesn’t really mean anything. Thay all su_k!

  4. gotbbucs Says:

    No. They won’t bring Mayfield in. They want Trask to succeed. If they bring Baker in it will be nothing but endless morons screaming his name the moment Trask throws an incomplete pass in camp.

    You can’t have a recent former #1 pick as a backup.

  5. Allbuccedup Says:

    Rather have Jacoby Brissett or Cooper Rush.

  6. acey Says:

    I’m still of the opinion we should try to pick up Heinicke if we can. He’s a good baseline for competing with Trask, and if Trask fails to beat him we’ve got a guy that went 7-10 on a Washington squad as the starter. With our talent? He might very well be serviceable.

  7. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Does that mean Raymond James Stadium will be featured on Progressive commercials?

  8. Jack Clark Says:

    A mediocre quarterback to go with our mediocre head coach!!!!!

    RIP no risk it no biscuit 🙏

  9. joshfreemanwasnotthatbad Says:

    Seems obvious that it will be Drew Lock … Would rather have him over Mayfield.

  10. BucBoy Says:

    1. He’s short – listed at 6’1″ so he’s 6’0″.

    2. Each of the last two seasons he posted a QBR of 24.5.

    3. Really?

  11. matthew veal Says:

    Tanking for a 50 60 qb is a shaky strategy.
    You only get one top guy.
    And then you need to give him 3 years minimum

    Didn’t work with lovie

  12. Mike Johnson Says:

    Please No Mayfield. He may be the worse of the free agents. I mean, How Low..can we go?

  13. Anonymous Says:

    at least Mayfield gives some sort of entertainment. Jacobi Brisett would be a literal snoozefest. Nobody wants to watch that guy, rather have Trask in then that fossil.

  14. Capt.Tim Says:

    Oh, sure. Why not.
    With out talent- he’ll go 7-10.
    Just one worse than Brady.

  15. BucfaninMi Says:

    Fire in his belly and a chip on his shoulder! Bring’em in!

  16. Rand Says:

    If they bring in a player like Baker Mayfield there won’t be a fair competition for Trask. Even if Trask outshined him in camp Mayfield would still be gifted the start because of the money they’ll pay him. GM’s and Head Coaches don’t pay a QB $10 mil to be a backup.

  17. Will Says:

    How many chances does this guy get? HELL NO!! This dude needs to concentrate on his craft and stop with the commercials. I don’t know what we have in Trask but we know that Baker isn’t a good or consistent QB. Hopefully we bring in competition but not someone too expensive because then they’ll be gifted the starting QB job.

  18. Onetrickpony Says:

    Could be worse

  19. Bubby Says:

    I chatted briefly with baker at the WM open in Phoenix. I told him he was going to love Tampa and laughed, then said “lots of weapons down there!”

  20. Nicholas Carlson Says:

    Certainly would help with draft capital

  21. Mike S Says:

    Um… The locker room doesn’t like Trask? Grasping at straws here.

  22. Mike S Says:

    Bubby will Baker be a pro and hold the clipboard if asked? Or will he be a malcontent?

  23. Stebobucsfan Says:

    I hope not Baker. It seem to be some attitude problem with him and I do know it was when he was in college also.

  24. Rod Munch Says:

    Did any of these people wanting this guy actually see him play in Carolina last year? He was terrible. He had some nice throws in LA, and they need a QB as Stafford is washed up and done. If LA passes on him, that tells you everything.

  25. THOMAS PFALZ Says:

    Yes Yes to Mansfield. He’s shown enough in the NFL to take a chance on. More so than some of these other clowns.

  26. Warrenfb12 Says:

    Doesn’t seem like a bowles QB to me. And is Baker just gonna low key chill on the sidelines if Trask struggles (which he will even if he has a good year)

  27. MarvAlbert Says:

    I heard one of the Joes describe Mayfield as “a cancer”. What’s up with that?

  28. Smooth Bay Rider Says:

    I feel like there are a lot of Mayfield haters out there, that should probably go back and watch his film. He may have a big boisterous personslity, but he’s smart, somewhat mobile, and has a cannon for an arm.

  29. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I’d rather have Brissett than Mayfield.

    BucBoy: Mayfield has an 86.5 career QB rating, higher than your guy (42.4).

  30. BucsfanFred Says:

    Personally, I like Cooper Rush the best.
    Baker, Brissett, or Heineke are probably all decent choices too.

  31. Rod Munch Says:

    Joe in Michigan Says:
    March 1st, 2023 at 1:23 pm
    I’d rather have Brissett than Mayfield.


    I’m not for Baker, but a career backup with zero upside? LOL! No.

    I’d rather have Wentz over either two of these guys.

    All Backer would do is get the team to 6-11, making sure we lose out on the good QBs in next years draft. Brissett would be more like 5-12 and Trask is more like 4-13. I’d rather Tank with Trask and have something to look forward to, rather than be a boring and bad team with Brissett or Mayfield.

    Wentz, meanwhile, he’s still a wildcard. People say he’s a bad locker room guy (most of the people saying this are the far left God-haters that make up most of the sports media press), but even if he is, so what? This team has a ton of vets who have won, they need their new QB to ‘lead’ them. Frankly, it’s embarrassing for any grown man to need someone to ‘lead’ them.

    Assuming Winston is cut, I’d sign him and Wentz and let them shoot it out, that would be a fun show to watch as all the cupcakes in this forum have a meltdown.

  32. Smooth Bay Rider Says:

    @Joe in Michigan

    Whaaaat ? Seems like the only reason somebody would want Brissett over Mayfield is for cap reasons. You surely can’t be saying that from a football perspective, can you ?

  33. Smooth Bay Rider Says:

    Munch, I’m with you on Wentz. He would be cheap and would probably be ok with potentially holding a clipboard at this point in his career.

  34. Bucs56 Says:

    No Wentz. No Jimmy Glass. Whoever says brisset has never watched him play as he is a backup with no upside. I am fine with Mayfield as he has upside and will be cheap and worse case a backup. Just if Trask struggles it will be a short leash with fans if the former #1 is the backup

  35. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    Cooper Rush should be the guy they bring in

  36. Rod Munch Says:

    Smooth Bay Rider – Wentz is a pure wildcard in my opinion, I think he’d either do well here, or blow up completely. I’m perfectly fine with giving him a shot. He’s got all the talent in the world, and was basically the NFL MVP that year he got hurt and they won the SB, and this would be the best offense he’s ever been on, and he’s not old. It’s a pure lottery ticket, but it’s fun to play the lottery — so long as you’re not spending your life savings buying tickets.

    The downside of Wentz, however, is that this offense sounds like it’s going to be a boring, run first, 1980s slogfest, and he’d be a bad fit for that. While he’s mobile, he’s a gunslinger, and when you tell gunslingers they have to be game managers, it rarely works out.

    So the Bucs will probably then sign Jimmy G and bring back Gabbert and go 6-11, pick 9th in 2024 and take another VH3. Also Jimmy G will of course get hurt, probably play like 12 games, then we get 5 games of Trask and go into next offseason still having no idea if Trask is any good or not.

    With Wentz, they could make the playoffs — or get the top pick in 2024. It’s the unknown with Wentz that is intriguing.

  37. JA Says:

    Yeah, right.
    Can this Salguero fella count?
    Bucs are currently 55 million over the cap. At the very least, Mayfield will want 30 million. When combined with Brady’s cap hit of 35M, that’s 65 million to a retired guy and one who had 3-4 good games after being run out of Cleveland and Charlotte.
    And some of you want Wentz, the ultimate failed experiment? I’d rather have Terry Bradshaw, cane and all!
    What is this, Delusional Wednesday?

  38. chark Says:

    Baker Mayfield is the best free agent not named Aaron Rodgers out there. Go watch his film!!

  39. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Brissett would be cheap, decent, and would probably be a better mentor to Trask than Mayfield. Maybe sign Brissett and Drew Lock, if they’re cheap enough.

  40. Trask To The Future Says:

    No way the Bucs are going to sign QBs for $10M-$15M+ they don’t have the cap space.

    It’s TRASK OR BUST at this point due to the current roster and cap situation. They may bring in some cheap Vet QBs but that’s it.

  41. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Spotrac has Brissett’s market value at $5.4 million.

  42. mark2001 Says:

    What I find funny is that some have a problem with Bakers attitude, and don’t with Jameis’s. Both guys have suffered with the “I won it my way in College, so why change” mentality. Has Baker learned? Has Jameis learned? Don’t know… but Jameis is getting a little long in the tooth at this point to probably “get it”. Maybe Baker can. Don’t know. But maybe Canelas thinks he can mold him into the franchise QB he was drafted to be. Frankly, I think I’d probably leave the choice of the guy to compete with Trask to Canelas.

  43. BrianBucs Says:

    All of the low cost free agent QBs stink

  44. BucBoy Says:


    Trask’s “career” rating is based on 9 passes in the last few minutes of a game playing with the third team. Were you educated, you would know that 9 passes is a statistically insignifcant sample from which to draw conclusions about a quarterback. Brady himself had several series of 9 passes this past season with ratings lower than Trask’s “career” rating. Thanks for playing, though!

  45. BucBoy Says:

    Rod Munch Says: “Jimmy G will of course get hurt, probably play like 12 games, then we get 5 games of Trask and go into next offseason still having no idea if Trask is any good or not.”

    So, if after 5 games of playing with the starters you would have “no idea if Trask is any good or not,” why then have you been trashing Trask without Trask having taken a single snap with the starters these past two seasons (as confirmed by Jason Licht yesterday)? You’ve essentially just admitted that you’re full of shyt.

  46. mark2001 Says:

    I’d like to see us sign a high potential guy that is on the line between make it and bust. It we get lucky, we might find our future franchise QB. If not, and Trask flames out, we get a top 10 pick next year. Just not the kind of guy to lead us to win just enough games to have lower half of the round picks.

  47. IrishTony Says:

    @BucsfanFred I’m with you on Cooper Rush. The guy has moxy and honestly that line is very good but he managed the offense well and didn’t turn the ball over.

  48. BucBoy Says:

    mark2001 Says: “What I find funny is that some have a problem with Bakers attitude, and don’t with Jameis’s.”

    That is explained by …

    1. FSU

    2. Wokers

  49. Buc4evr Says:

    Brissett is a better QB. Mayfield will crash and burn. Seems to be inconsistent.

  50. Scott Says:

    Gardener minshiew

  51. geno711 Says:

    Armondo Salguero is famous for tweeting that he would rather have Satan as QB than Colin Kaepernick.

  52. Who Says Says Can't Say Says:

    Mayfield is the steal of the free agent market this year I believe.

    Trask may do well but hasn’t looked great and reminds me of Trent Dilfer.

  53. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Tanking for “a good draft slot” can get you a Baker Mayfield. In more ways than one

  54. mark2001 Says:

    Jmark…no need to tank. Just play with the cards you can afford to draw. If they are good, you do well. If they are bad, you are bad. What is death by a thousand cuts is signing patchwork guys that are good for a year or two, and don’t get you anywhere but a .500 season.

  55. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Proven losers. I’d rather see Trask’s competition come from the draft. The 49ers struck gold with the last pick in the draft. Brady was picked in the sixth round. It doesn’t have to be in the first round. We have more pressing needs early on, and we need to get under the cap. I’d rather spend the money on David than on some NFL tourist QB.