Numbers Suggest Baker Mayfield Has No Value Without A Clean Pocket

March 16th, 2023

Bucs QB Baker Mayfield.

Wow, Joe didn’t think journeyman Baker Mayfield was this bad.

Dan Pizzuta is strictly a numbers guy who works for Sharp Football Analysis. And when breaking down all the transactions from Wednesday, Pizzuta typed, in so many words, he doesn’t know what the Bucs are trying to accomplish by signing Mayfield.

In short, Pizzuta believes the numbers reveal Mayfield may only be a step above a warm body. He points out that Mayfield’s contract ($4 million base plus incentives up to $8.5 million) is on the same level as Mike White, the Jets-turned-Dolphins signal-caller by way of USF.

Pizzuta did try to be fair and say that if Mayfield has a clean pocket, he can throw effectively. If a pocket breaks down, the numbers tell him Mayfield is a trainwreck.

In short, Pizzuta believes the only thing Mayfield does for the Bucs extends the Bucs’ sentence in quarterback purgatory for one additional season.

It’s also expected Mayfield will compete with Kyle Trask for the starting job, which will be the saddest sentence written in this post. Mayfield could fit with new offensive coordinator Dave Canales, but again, we know Mayfield’s upside and it’s not anything that will take this offense to another level.

There is also enough talent spread throughout the roster that this isn’t going to be a tank in a way that could set the Buccaneers up for a top-two pick in the 2024 draft with USC’s Caleb Williams or UNC’s Drake Maye coming out.

The Buccaneers are in a bit of a no man’s land going from the Brady era to whatever is next and Mayfield as the quarterback is about as good of a physical representation of that struggle as the Buccaneers could find for 2023.


Here’s what Joe cannot get past with trying to embrace Mayfield as the answer. Mayfield is now with his fourth team in three seasons. Two of his previous three teams were coached by offensive guys.

Yes, Joe knows Sean McVay resurrected Mayfield’s career with a few games but notice the Rams didn’t try to keep him. So when is the last time a quarterback on his fourth team in three seasons made a dent in the NFL?

If Mayfield really does turn the corner and leads the Bucs to at least a win in the playoffs, Joe will type right here for all to read that Dave Canales will be one-and-done as the Bucs’ offensive coordinator.

That’s because Canales will be a head coach somewhere else this time in 2024.

50 Responses to “Numbers Suggest Baker Mayfield Has No Value Without A Clean Pocket”

  1. Tim Says:

    I believe Mayfield is a competent QB who failed because he was set up to fail with the Panthers and the Browns. When he did have a good coach, he played above average football with a depleted Rams team without Cooper Kupp.

    I truly believe he will be used to his strengths under new OC Canales with a strong rungame (White, Elliot (?), with a new LT (1st round) and a couple of elite WRs and a good pass catcher at TE (Otton).

    He doesn’t need to play hero ball in Tampa like he had to in Cleveland and Carolina. I truly see him as a Comeback Player of the Year for 2023.

  2. Joe in Michigan Says:

    What did Dan Pizzahut say about Geno Smith before last year? Probably had something like this to say about him. Not saying Mayfield will have a year like Smith’s, but Canales and Seattle did something great to turn Geno around.

    Ryan Fitzpatrick played on 9 different teams in his career, and was decent. Jim Plunkett comes to mind, a guy the Raiders got off the scrap heap and won 2 Super Bowls with.

  3. DungyDance Says:

    Rams gave him no one to throw to, and no offensive line. Panthers barely had anything better, and were in disarray for half the season. In short, last year was not a good measuring stick.

    And the answer to Pizzuta’s last question is respect. This “collapse for whoever” talk is for losers. Not saying there isn’t a time to save for the future, but intentionally fielding a bunch of scrubs would do long term damage to credibility both inside and outside our team.

  4. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Hopefully Trask keeps him on the bench. Mayfield makes Winston look good by comparison.

  5. K_bassuka Says:

    Barker Mayfield has no value whatsoever. If he is the starte, he will destroy this team’s morale, will have is drafting 10-15 next year and will force the team to trade all good players.

  6. Allbuccedup Says:

    Baker Mayfield is going to take us to the playoffs if 5 wins gets you in the playoffs then I agree.

  7. Allbuccedup Says:

    Why don’t they just release Trask it looks like they are just torturing him. I mean Jalen Hurts was a 2nd round pick and took the Eagles to the superbowl. So why worry about Williams or Maye, Bucs can’t develop quarterbacks anyway. Thats just the way it is some things never change.

  8. HC Grover Says:

    Bowles has fundamentally transformed the Bucs from Super Bowl Champs in to a
    calamity waiting to happen. He broke their back.

  9. Joe in Michigan Says:

    HC Grover Says:
    March 16th, 2023 at 6:47 am
    Bowles has fundamentally transformed the Bucs from Super Bowl Champs in to a
    calamity waiting to happen. He broke their back.
    Does HC stand for “He’s Crying”?

  10. SufferingSince76 Says:

    In other news, Jameis Winston has declared himself a championship QB. Just throwing that out there.

  11. Da Bucs Guy Says:

    Numbers suggest a losing season for the Bucs. Mid October we will be talking about who the next head Coach will be form the Bucs.

  12. Joe Swanson Says:

    Bowles will lose 2 or 3 games on his own.

  13. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘Wow, Joe didn’t think journeyman Baker Mayfield was this bad.’

    Oh Joe, kudos kudos kudos. THAT was the PERFECT lead-in. Anyone seeing that has to read more; you left us with no choice. A masterful stroke of journalistic genius.

    Now let’s see. We all know where you stand on Kyle Trask. Obviously Baker Mayfield is a train wreck in slow motion in your eyes. Can’t wait to see how you feel about the QB behind Door #3. Oh wait, he just opened the door a crack & peeked through the crack to see what awaits him. Hmmm, he looks exactly like Johnny Manziel. Surely you can get behind resurrecting him, right? Hey Mr Football is only 30. (OK, sorry, Flip Wilson was right … The devil made me do it).

  14. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    @ Defense Rules

    Imma keep on saying this……

    Baker @ Carolina couldn’t even beat out Sam Darnold or PJ Walker and got demoted to a 3rd Stringer….furthermore, he was benched in Cleveland……

    I understand Cleaveland cause that’s always been a BAD organization…..but Carolina?????? Ummmmmm….yeah, he stunk it up bigtime to be demoted to a 3rd Stringer…..

    So yeah…….this guy will run around the field…make a few plays with his legs and improvision….but he aint’ leading the BUCS NO WHERE when he couldn’t even do that with Cleaveland and Carolina.

    I futhermore think that he is not a good LOCKEROOM guy and players just tune him out cause he’s shown in the past he has “moxie”….but there’s difference between that and arrogance…..and I think he’s been arrogant since being drafted.

    Hopefully, now that he’s on his 4th NFL team is such short time span…..that has humbled him alot.

  15. Eric Says:

    No but one of the Joe’s is presenting him as a franchise savior lol!

  16. Statistically Insignificant Reader Says:

    Licht and Bowles both said they wanted to bring in an inexpensive veteran QB to compete with Trask. No expectations of Mayfield to lead the Bucs anywhere. If Trask can’t cut it then the Bucs will move on from both of them next year.
    stay the course Licht. This year Licht will sign no expensive retread free agents.
    Licht will continue working on paying off the SuperBowl, covet thy own players if warranted, save some money, balance the Bucs checkbook, draft in the trenches this year. Be ready to become major players in nexts years QB sweepstakes. Better days are coming. Go Bucs

  17. #99 the Big fella Says:

    I think one of the joes likes to post positive articles , the other joe is always Doom and Gloom!

  18. Duane Says:

    Not succeeding at two of the most dysfunctional teams in the league, but succeeding in his short stint in LA, seems to indicate the root cause of performance issues is not necessarily with the individual player.

    For instance, numbers numbnuts can crunch all the numbers they like to prove anything they want to try ant prove – as Sam Clemmons famously stated, “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics!”. But if those numbers take no account of the intangibles, such as playing on badly coached teams with bad rosters, then the numbers are bull honkey.

  19. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    @ Statistically Insignificant Reader

    I agree with everything you said…EXCEPT for one thing……

    BAKER WILL BE THE STARTER come opening day…..there is no way Baker would’ve signed here if that wasn’t the case…he wants another shot at being a Franchise QB again.

    If Baker cannot even beat out: a “lowly-non-starting-slowmotion-cannot drive the ball” QB in the name of Kyle Trask……….then Baker will be forever labeled as a QB with all the tools, but can never be a starter because he cannot get it right in-between the ears…….AKA another Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariotta.

  20. Pewter Power Says:

    Tom Brady isn’t Tom Brady without a clean pocket!!! Every quarterback struggles but at least he is mobile. Don’t care about the numbers in this situation I want to see it for myself THIS YEAR on the field. He has a clean slate like Winston did going to the saints

  21. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    @ Pewter Power

    Baker had a clean slate going to Carolina… why would you think his performance would be any different on his 4th NFL team?????

    Why are Bucs fans so dumb when it comes to looking at past performances of players when they arrive here????

    All you see is name and previous hype….and nothing more.

    This is why I say that the Bucs fanbase are some of dumbest fans in the NFL.

  22. Knucknbuc Says:

    This obviously ain’t the same Joe that is on the baker bandwagon. They really should put their names on the article so then we know. I wonder if the joe that’s all baker is the starter is the same one that loved Johnny manziel. Lmaooo he has a type I see. Anyways this guy is right baker is a bust and he sucks. I’m actually praying trask is anytype of decent so I don’t have to watch this midget run around head butting people. The only thing I keep hearing is they beat the raiders last year with him after 48 hours of being on the team. Impressive but they won 16-17 rams had 3 points all game then the raiders went to prevent and they scored 2 late tds lol. Sorry mayfield fan club this guy ain’t good a smaller white version of jameis hey if that’s what your into.

  23. JonBucFan Says:

    2 weeks ago we screwed as a team! The fact that we were able to snag any decent QB while keeping David, Dean and other core players is a Buc Miracle!

  24. George R Says:

    should of just went with Trask. If he fails we will have a top 5 pick and then able to draft the QB of the future.

  25. pewter941 Says:

    Who does good without a clean pocket?

  26. gp Says:

    ***This is why I say that the Bucs fanbase are some of dumbest fans in the NFL.***

    ^^^This from the poster who called Tom Brady a “noodle arm” when he signed with us.
    Not much credibility as anything but a troll with me at least.

    Not saying I’m happy or unhappy with the Mayfield signing.
    Taking a wait and see attitude.
    Hoping for an actual competition at QB that will elevate the winner to winning status in the regular season.
    Either way, as a FAN, I will root for whoever is wearing a Bucs jersey.
    As stated before, I do reserve the right to complain, but will always be expecting wins.

  27. Bucsfanman Says:

    This is kind of a silly statement because it effects ALL QBs. Even the GOAT.
    Secondly, the expectations are far different for Baker, IMO. Or, should be anyways.
    Last, just how much better is Carr or Garoppolo than Baker? Carr’s a TO-machine (not quite to JW level!) and Jimmy is average, at best.
    He’s the best QB the Bucs could afford.

  28. Steven007 Says:

    Anthem, Mayfield maybe a disaster here. And he may be okay. And he may be better than okay. But one things for sure, regardless of the result the brain trust here knows way way way more about the players they choose than you do. And me for that matter. They obviously see something they like aside from just the price tag. You might want to give it a chance but I’m sure you’ll continue with your doom and gloom posts. We all know what his history is. You don’t have to remind us every time you post.

  29. geno711 Says:

    My concern with Baker is can he lead a team to good 4th quarters in a close game.

    We saw what Jameis could do (not much). We saw what Brady could do (a lot).

    I am worried that Baker will be a lot closer to Jameis.

  30. Jeff Says:

    Bucs are gonna be just good enough to miss out on a franchise QB in the 2024 draft. This is now a 5 win team. 4 wins or less gets the 1st pick.

  31. rrsrq Says:

    He is not our QB, he is our point guard according to the new OC

  32. rrsrq Says:

    @Geno711, Jameis led several 4th quarter comebacks, of course he put the team in that situation, it was the defense or the kicker that could not close out games

  33. J Says:

    Couldn’t care less. We’re rebuilding and added some book ends.

  34. Jonny Says:

    I think Mayfield will be trash, but I would not make too much out of Rams not wanting to bring back Mayfield. McVay probably believes Mayfield is starter material and Baker may have told McVay he wants to pursue opportunities to start. With Stafford coming back, I can see why the Rams didn’t attempt to pursue Baker. Back in 07, Andy Reid, a players coach, advised Garcia to go be a starter and not return to Philly to sit behind a healthy McNabb. This situation may not be any different.

  35. Cobraboy Says:

    Waaaay too many variables on the current Bucs and Mayfield’s past to predict, with any certainty, how he or Trask will perform in 2023.

    Mayfield couldn’t help the Kitties? Hell, Kitties ownership was trying to tank, and a decent QB stood in their way. That’s why they traded their future for the #1 pick. Was Mayfield that bad, or did he stand in the way of owners goals?

    Rams? Mega cap problems. Plus a fortune spent on their SB-winning QB. Mayfield causes cap and team problems.

    A players success is often team-dependant and circumstantial. I won’t trash Mayfield as a Buc until he gives me a reason. Same with Trask.

    Besides, an argument could be made that the Bucs signed McCown in 2014 to tank to draft ATM in 2015. We all know how important a franchise QB is to the Glazers.

  36. gp Says:


    I dunno, but, just sayin, ANY team that relies on the “kicker” to “win” games, is the definition of a losing franchise.

  37. Craig Says:

    What good is a clean pocket for a roll out QB?

    Mayfield panics if his first and second reads are covered, then he rolls out and tosses an interception.

    That is not something that can be coached out of him, it is an integral part of how Mayfield plays.

  38. Who Says Says Can't Say Says:

    No but Rich Gannon was with 4 teams in 7 seasons.

  39. SKBucsFan Says:

    I think the clean pocket analysis can apply to every QB. All these stats show is that you need a strong offensive line to give your team a chance.
    Do the right thing Licht. Draft an LT in the first round.

  40. Rand Says:

    If this midget could be stretched a few inches taller then maybe he could get it over the d-line but as it is now, this guy has to invent passing lanes. The biggest reason for his INT’s are because he doesn’t see the whole field while defenders are hiding behind the taller players and seemingly come out of nowhere to grab the ball. I’ve seen times where it just looked like Mayfield threw the ball right to them. This is going to be a disaster and was a poor choice to compete with Trask. Actually the way it looks Mayfield will automatically be gifted the start regardless if Trask plays lights out during the preseason. This signing will determine whether Bowles and Licht keep their jobs after the season. Had they just rolled with Trask it would’ve been an excuse for a down year and the glazers would probably be more sympathetic. But NOT NOW. They made their bed.

  41. Mike Says:

    I don’t know whether Mayfield will be a train wreck or not, but he’s never had a Mike Evans or Chris Godwin type to throw the ball to either.

  42. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Rand Says:
    March 16th, 2023 at 10:59 am
    If this midget could be stretched a few inches taller then maybe he could get it over the d-line but as it is now, this guy has to invent passing lanes. The biggest reason for his INT’s are because he doesn’t see the whole field while defenders are hiding behind the taller players and seemingly come out of nowhere to grab the ball. I’ve seen times where it just looked like Mayfield threw the ball right to them.
    The same things happened with Jameis Winston, and he’s 6′-4″.

  43. Bobby Says:

    I believe Brady is going to be playing for the Miami on Week 1 of this season. I also believe if the Bucs can get somehow get a decent Left Tackle this offseason. Then Baker Mayfield is going to blow up this season and take the NFL by storm and take us to the playoffs. That looked very much like the Baker from college last season. I love this move!! Welcome to Tampa Baker Mayfield!!!

  44. Goatfarmer Says:

    Let’s have a drink, Licht is crushing the offseason. Except for not firing the loser head coich, but on that, Licht’s hands are tied.

  45. Pickgrin Says:

    “notice the Rams didn’t try to keep him”

    The Rams owe Stafford a fortune ($130M guaranteed) so there’s no way Mayfield would want to stay there with zero chance to start unless Stafford were injured.

    Baker bet on himself by taking such a low salary on a 1 year deal with the team that gives him the best chance to re-establish himself as a bona-fide starter.

    With an established, solid to good defense in place – 2 pro bowlers on the OLine – 2 pro bowlers at WR – little competition for the starting spot – and an OC who guaranteed Mayfield a run first/play-action heavy offense – Tampa Bay was Baker’s obvious best choice to try and earn himself a fat, long term contract somewhere in 2024….

  46. mike anthony Says:

    Lots of provable ignorance in this thread. first off raiders did NOT go into prevent defense in the Rams- La game where baker stunned the raiders. Anyone claiming that did not watch the game or doesn’t know what prevent is. second Baker had no temperament issues in either Carolina or Rams. In your 20s its not a miracle you can grow up some. Carolina actually released him because he wanted to be released and they said his demeanor earned the consideration. Third, roll outs for Baker are often DESIGNED for those that know how to use him. YES. its fair to see he has issues seeing the field at that height and so rollouts and play action are necessary and thats the rub

    Baker will stink up the joint if the offense is not designed for his strengths. Its not a fluke what happened at the rams never happened at Carolina. Mcvay allowed him to play to his strengths and that is play action and roll outs with mid to deep passes- which you will see he thrived with in Cleveland before the year playing injured. Carolina did NOt have an offense designed for him because they let the competition go without deciding till a couple weeks before the season started. Panther’s offense was dink and dunk and relied on the taller Darnold from the previous year.

    Baker is NOT the guy that you can plug into any offense system and it will work. He is also not your guy if you are an ultra conservative just hold the ball coach. He thrives when he is slinging. Fourth nonsense claim is Rams never wanted him. They said more than once they did but not over Stafford they won a super bowl with. Baker made it clear he wanted a chance to start. Frankly I think that was a grave mistake as He found the offense that works for him in the rams. Stafford is will likely go no more than a year and even be injured again this year.

    So it all comes down to Canales and the HC. I am hoping Baker was told things he really liked and they were committed to in terms of kind of offense. However not sure why Baker chose another team with a HC on the hot seat but honestly don’t know what you guys are crying about. The base is $4 million. Who else were you going to bring in at that price? And its one year – no vote of confidence. Even if you love Trask you still would need a veteran backup and they dont’ come for less.

    You also have next to nothing to lose on the field. You were never winning the SB the year after the goat retired. IF trask turns out to be the guy then he has a backup at cheap $5 million. IF baker blows up like he did at the rams then you have fairy tale story as an organization. If he doesn.t then he is likely to be awful but it was always dubious your roster was going to lose enough to get a top pick anyway.

  47. Joe Says:

    provable ignorance


  48. steele Says:

    Numbers suggest….every quarterback needs a clean pocket. Duh.

    Mike Anthony’s analysis above is thorough and sound. Exactly right—Midget Mayfield has strengths and weaknesses, and the offense must be designed around his weird game and lack of size. He is Jeff Garcia, not plug and play. I definitely expect Rah Rah Canales to try to duplicate Russell Wilson, who was also undersized, who needed, yes, rollouts, lanes, play action, zone blocking scheme and a smashmouth running back.

    Given where this team is, it’s time to lower our Tom Brady era Olympian expectations and lose the seriousness. BAKER MAYFIELD and everything that comes with BAKER MAYFIELD. That’s high entertainment no matter what happens, boys. Disaster, mediocrity or greatness, it doesn’t matter. It is like watching Tom Cruise in “Cocktail”.

  49. Mr. Editor Says:

    Baker Mayfield is just intriguing enough as a stopgap QB to prevent a collapse in the season ticket market. After all these years, though, the Glazers still don’t know Bucs fans.

  50. westernbuc Says:

    Stafford isn’t going anywhere and the Browns did what the Browns always do, which is out-dysfunction the entire league. This has the potential to be the biggest free agent signing of the year