“The Most Important Incentive”

March 17th, 2023

The Buccaneers have a starting quarterback in the house disguised as a guy competing with Kyle Trask.

Hey, Joe’s going to call it as Joe sees it.

Baker Mayfield is that quarterback, and the Bucs got him on a surprisingly inexpensive deal, a max of $8.5 million of Mayfield hits incentives on his one-year contract.

Former Bucs QB Chris Simms loves the move for Tampa Bay and dissected it for PFT Live on NBCSports.com. 

“He’s still got a lot of starting-caliber traits,” Simms said of Mayfield.

What triggered Mayfield to sign cheap?

“The most important incentive was the fact that he gets a chance to be at a place where he can start. And I don’t know if there was any other place out there that he was going to be trusted in that situation. I don’t,” Simms said, noting he believes Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels likely didn’t like the risk of public scrutiny that would have come with signing Mayfield.

Co-host Mike Florio noted how Mayfield is betting on himself again, similar in a way to what he did when he gave up guaranteed money to get out of Cleveland.

Mayfield bet on himself in Carolina last season with a contract that had strong incentives. Mayfield didn’t have a good start there and then Carolina decided to tank by dumping top players and benching Mayfield; so Mayfield asked to leave, was granted his release, and landed with the Rams late in the season.

Joe is intrigued by the Mayfield signing in so many ways, especially how it shouldn’t stop the Bucs from drafting a quarterback if the right one is in their sights come late April.

64 Responses to ““The Most Important Incentive””

  1. Eric Says:

    Lol should tell you all you need to know, he can’t start anywhere else but you think he would be worth more than 2 squirts of duck spit!

  2. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Saw that yesterday and I admit, it was encouraging regarding Mayfield.

    Trask is still getting a bum deal though.

  3. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I don’t agree with the move personally, but what is done is done.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Baker Mayfield has a chance to become a huge star. He has the upside……he’s got the best weapons he’s had…..
    This is as close to a no lose situation the Bucs could imagine…..if he doesn’t succeed, then it’s roll with Trask…….not much money spent.

  5. Andrew Fish Says:

    nothing about this move was smart. he played for a team in Cleveland that had a amazing run game and they ran him out of town. if he does decent then next year he will want a stupid high contract that he wont be worth. if he bust we wasted the cap space and we lose. Trask is cheap and if he does well we still have him for the next year. if he sucks we save the cap space and draft a qb or sign a better qb next year.

  6. Goatfarmer Says:

    The Bucs also have a 3rd string clipboard holder in the house disguised as a 2nd round draft pick, who will offer Mayfield zero competition to start. That would come from the draft or if JL grabs another FA QB for the vet minimum.

    The Baker signing may prove to be one of JL’s most savvy.

  7. Allbuccedup Says:

    Sign another cheap veteran qb and trade or release he will never be a starter here hes in the bucs doghouse.

  8. Letsbucinggo Says:

    Trask is just another qb the bucs organization is trying to ruin. What a waste of a second round pick. It seems like after Winfield was selected in the second round 3 long years ago Licht has bombed out on 1st and 2nd. picks since then

  9. SB Says:

    I think Trask will beat him out.

  10. Dooley Says:

    Monken said in a presser recently when asked about Mayfield(they spent time together in Cleveland) is trying to get some of that Canales influence that revitalized Smiths’ career and got him paid, paid. We are providing Mayfield with an opportunity to revive his career in our search for a starting QB. Mayfield is 100% in a position to bet on himself and if he hits, so do the Bucs and so will us fans. Licht himself, has ackowledged Mayfield is coming to compete for the job, fans here are already begging to declare a starter in MARCH lol. Relax, temper your expectations (because that suckered you into thinking this team was good on paper last offseason) and buckle up because this is kind of unprecedented in franchise history. This offseason is going to be lit

  11. geno711 Says:

    To me saying Mayfield bet on himself is just wrong. He just got the largest contract offer from the Bucs.

    Listen, I’m all for positive spins, even if you happen to be a journeyman QB. But let’s be real here: that lipstick isn’t going to change Baker’s skill set. He has already been kicked to the curb by three different teams.

  12. adam from ny Says:

    baker at the podium should be good throughout the season…

    he speaks freely at times

  13. Sly Pirate Says:


    Trask is 3rd stringers. In 2 years he couldn’t beat out Gabs for #2. You like him because he went to UF. That’s it. It’s like rooting for any 3rd stringer. You’re cute. The only team Trask has made is the practice team. Mayfield has performed better in every level. He won the Heisman. Cleveland was 2 minutes from the Super Bowl with him. Regardless of Mayfield, Trask will likely never start. If he does, he’ll likely be out of the league after he fails.

  14. Dooley Says:

    It’s opportunity Geno711, regardless of what you think of his skill set. Mayfield is playing to sustain his career because he’s been released by 3 different teams. Not really hard to understand, especially when you consider his base salary lines up with what other back up QBs have signed for in the 2023 free agency period. A chance to make more money, IF he can come in and do whatever in his power to be good enough to EARN the starting job. Apparently Licht and our front office seen enough to cut the check, who would you have signed?

  15. gofortheface30 Says:

    “Kyle Trask is another QB the Bucs are trying to ruin.”

    This is a fun, entertaining comment. Let’s unpack it a little. Kyle Trask, who has had hundreds of practices with the team as exhibited to average to below average traits in every capacity. To say he is nothing special would actually be a gross understatement. The second round pick should be able to take the backup quarterback job from Blaine freaking Gabbert. I can assure you they WANTED him to, as it displays the kind of development they’d prefer to see in a high pick.

    Gator fans however, are OFFENDED at the very notion of bringing in competition for Trask despite little to no tangile proof that he is anywhere near “that guy.” The AUDACITY of Tampa to bring in Baker Mayfield. You think Trask is that guy but you’re THREATENED by…Baker Mayfield. You guys are hilarious. I’m already drunk on this st pattys day from reading comments

  16. adam from ny Says:


    i’m seeing a potbelly and small hands in the accompanying pic…

    hopefully he comes to camp ready and in shape

  17. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Don’t know why there is so much complaining about picking up Mayfield. Competition brings the best out of players. I think Mayfield is a perfect competition for Trask. This was not the case with Brady as there was no way Trask wasn’t going to start. If Trask is really ready to move a step higher, then he should be able to beat Mayfield fair and square. If not, then at the very least, we have a QB better than what we have in Trask.

  18. geno711 Says:

    Thanks Dooley. All for giving Baker a chance as he is now the Bucs QB.

    I just felt Phil Simm’s narrative and Joe’s were off. I.e. he bet on himself. He bet on the largest contract.

    Like Jameis saying the reason he came back to the Saint’s this offseason was the culture. I believe that too was the largest contract for Jameis.

  19. Craig Says:

    Baker might start big, run around while the new line gels, but he will screw it up.

    When he scrambles, his interception rate goes up. At some point he will look like Jameis did, with TDs and INTs almost tied. Then he will sit down and we can see if Trask has got it.

    Trask might feel dejected for a bit, but will lobby whenever Mayfield screws the goose. Eventually the new OC will give him a go.

  20. Who Says Says Can't Say Says:

    I love the move. I’ll take the potential of his becoming a franchise quarterback, over all the other choices out there who have no potential to be that.

    If you are going to judge a quarterback by how they did at Cleveland or Carolina, or even the Rams when their coach is talking about retiring at a young age… well any quarterback would look like junk at those places.

    If Mayfield doesn’t succeed here, then yes he’s a bust. But I’m willing to take that gamble. There were about 30 teams that wish they’d taken the gamble on Drew Brees that New Orleans did.

    As for Trask, he can’t even convince the coaches who see him every day for two years that he should dress for a game. I’ve never heard that story end well.

  21. gofortheface30 Says:

    Alabama – you skipped a step. He couldn’t even beat out Gabbert. Forget starting, a high draft pick didn’t even dress on gamedays half the time.

    But Kyle Trasks mom and dad along with gator fans come up on here expecting Trask to be given the starting job. Lmao. Wild takes

  22. OR Buc Says:

    Joe, it’s only been a couple days since baker and every other article seems to be about him starting, as if you are trying to will it. His base pay is 4 mil, that’s backup $. Incentives may not be that hard to get IF he wins the starting job. I honestly can’t understand why there is no love for Trask, a 2nd round pick, who lit up the SEC and has sat behind Tom Brady for 2 years learning what it takes. Sure he’s unproven, but he is a 2nd round pick and been sitting behind Tom Brady! Interestingly enough, everyone seems to want to excuse all those years Baker sucked due to injuries or poor coaching, but isn’t his high rate of injury a concern? Or maybe he just sucks. I truly hope he has not been given the keys yet, let the best man win and a tie goes to the younger player with more room to grow.

  23. Oneilbuc Says:

    Sly . Baker Mayfield is trash this is his 4th team in 6 years and he was cut by 2 teams in the same year and this is the guy y’all want to start lol 😅😅😆 loser fan base = loser franchise!!

  24. Just Leave Trask Alone Says:

    Not giving Trask a legit opportunity is a franchise wrecking mistake.

    We’ll watch it like a cat accident in slow motion.

  25. Just Leave Trask Alone Says:

    Oneilbuc these people just don’t get it.

    You win by developing young QBs not by starting a retread.

  26. Zoocomics Says:

    @Who Says Says Can’t Say… thank you and well said, and sentiment most fans should be feeling, instead there was always a better option out there, or tank for Caleb, because the fan base loves getting shit-on with a miserable losing season without any guarantees that Caleb turns into the next Patrick Mahommes. What does our locker room even look like a year after a 3 win or less season? You think any grown professional athlete wants to get kicked in the teeth game in and game out while we boo the shit out of them?

    It will say a lot of Trask if he wins the starting job… think Matt Flynn signing a nice contract to be the starter in Seattle after flashing in Green Bay and Wilson gets drafted and Flynn gets dumped before ever getting a start. Trask has had the unique advantage of working under Brady for 2 seasons, you’d like to think that will give him some confidence competing for the number 1 QB position, especially since he knows these receivers a little better than Baker.

    Trask needs to show he’s got some A-type in him and go out there and show he belongs, instead of waiting for those opportunities to fall in his lap before he’s able to show what he has to offer. This isn’t college, I just can’t believe we have to serve up the starting QB position on a silver platter to Trask for him to truly get a chance to show what he has. Baker will most likely win this and we wont see what Trask has until Baker is benched, or gets hurt.

  27. gp Says:

    Seems to me that Trask has the skillset to start, just not the drive. He was chosen in the second round because of that skillset. The coaches and front office have a good idea of what he is capable of. And yet, he has yet to crack the #2 position, let alone QB1.
    Until he shows that competitive spirit, killer instinct, desire to be QB1, he won’t.
    QB1 is an elite group of players who have earned their spots. It is exceedingly rare that one has been gifted that position and gone on to succeed in it.

  28. SomeDudeAtWork Says:

    >Draft successful record setting SEC QB Heisman finalist in the second round
    >Bury him on the bench behind a journeyman for 2 years as the third string QB
    >Instead of giving him his opportunity when the incumbent starter retires sign a controversial player known for disrupting locker rooms now on his 4th team in 6 years and declare an open QB competition


  29. SomeDudeAtWork Says:

    gp no drive? Completely unfounded.

  30. gp Says:

    Waiting his turn to start?

  31. BA’s Red Pen Says:


  32. Jonny Says:

    In a season where we were guaranteed to suck, we have made a move which brings down the odds of us sucking from 99% to 90%. And even though Mayfield is not an immensely talented QB with his arm or legs, his play style elevates the ceiling on what Bucs can possibly accomplish in 2023. People saying signing Baker was a bad move are in denial of something obvious. Trask has no future in Tampa beyond his rookie contract and most likely he will be out of the league after that.

  33. SOEbuc Says:

    Bonzai Trask is still a bum getting his bum deal. Being a longhorn fan, I have hated Mayfield with a passion for years, but he will start game one. If they go 0-6, the other guys up.

  34. SomeDudeAtWork Says:

    In case you forgot. Tom Brady was here.

    They should have had Trask behind him – but I’m guessing Brady didn’t want a young high round draft pick QB anywhere near the starting reps. What the GOAT wanted the GOAT got.

    If you’re Kyle Trask then what can you do other than work on the Scout team, drill reps, sit in the QB meeting room and try to do whatever you could do to get better?

    To Trask’s credit he’s been in this situation before – counted out but staying ready. He got extended PT in preseason a little bit in 2022. He looked good.

    So now this coaching staff has to give him his reps. He’s a 2nd round pick. You can’t let him languish in this situation. This is what you drafted him for, despite the $4M signing of Baker Mayfield.

  35. BucsfanFred Says:

    Justleavetraskalone, we’ve supposedly been developing Trask for two years. There’s a chance he’ll start this year. All he has to do is be the best QB option we have come September. There’s going to be at least one more hat in the ring by May, be it by draft or FA.

  36. SomeDudeAtWork Says:

    SOEbuc Jameis plays for the Saints now.

  37. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    This entitlement BS or handing a high draft pick as the anointed starter are for desperate teams. If Trask is a better player by the start of the season, then he gets to nod…until then he has to beat the next guy around him. Not sure why so many people are scared the we picked up a semi-controversial QB to compete at an open position.

  38. Crickett Baker Says:

    Trask NEVER had even the opportunity to “beat out” Gabbert. Everyone who says that he sucks hasn’t a clue of what his potential is. THIS year we will see if he can secure a #1 QB position, and will finally know for sure instead of mindless babbling. He will finally get his chance to compete for the role. I am excited to see what goes on and am making absolutely no predictions. GO BUCS!

  39. Oneilbuc Says:

    Man it’s about giving a guy a chance all this Trask = 3 – 14 is just a opinion not a fact. How do you know h we will be 3-14 if we never seen him with the starters?? But what I do know is this if we would have drafted Russell Wilson in the 3rd round and signed Matt Flynn y’all would have wanted Matt Flynn to start than Russell Wilson. Wilson would have never gotten a chance. If we were in the Packers situation with Farv and Rogers y’all would have been saying the same thing you are saying about Trask. Bad fan base=bad franchise.

  40. BucsFan81 Says:

    By the end of the season Trask will be starting.

  41. ChiBuc Says:

    Round and round the mulberry bush the monkey chased the weasel…

    Such insightfulness, or is it incitefulness, from all sides of the QB fence

  42. HC Grover Says:

    It appears the previously ‘awful’ Mayfield is now elevated to a Super Bowl Champ. What changed?

  43. Dooley Says:

    “Not sure why so many people are scared the we picked up a semi-controversial QB to compete at an open position.”

    Part of it is because the QB driven narratives leads some fans to believe in the NFL that every teams’ fate is decided by the QB by himself, and not much help comes from the other 47 players on the gameday roster lol it’s why Brady retroactively gets the credit for the SB, even if our defense is who kept us in the game in every playoff game we won in 2020 including the SB, to them it was all Brady. Now that he’s gone, they’re all parroting that we’ll stink as if their peers are the players in the lockerroom who will all eventually collectivize their efforts to win as many games as possible. Wise man knows he knows nothing at all, and only Sith deal in absolutes like some of our fellow Buc fans.

  44. Aceofaerospace Says:

    Hopefully we can wait until the 2nd or 3rd to look at another qb now. My hope is we find a monster o-lineman in the first now. Please don’t draft a TE #1 unless he’s Gronk2.0.

  45. Swampy Says:

    I endured the 0-8 at home season in a nice club seat. Spent a lot of second halves drinking in the club. Trask is a 4 win season QB at best. Mayfield could be the same or he could get us up to .500 or better. Fans that don’t have season tickets might prefer tanking to going .500 so we can draft a future superstar QB. No offense intended but it’s tough accepting you paid thousands to expect to lose most of time. After the winless at home season we got Winston. Mayfield was also the top pick. Since tanking doesn’t guarantee success I don’t want to endure a pathetic season. I want us to be competitive and Mayfield may or may not get us there.

  46. SKBucsFan Says:

    Competition will be good for both QB’s. Prove it or be prepared to sit. This could work out well for the Bucs. Way better than drafting a QB in the first that is expected to start. This class is almost as weak as last years class.

  47. Tye Says:

    For whatever reason, No matter who the Bucs draft at qb, a large portion of this fan base will hate it… Brady is the only qb that most fans agreed on!

  48. Darin Says:

    Not sure if hot garbage is any worse than cold garbage but I’ll still go with that please Alex.

  49. RustyRhinos Says:

    Can all of you JBF prophets please please please share this week’s Mega Millions winning numbers. Just to prove to us all how you can predict the future. So we can find some reason to believe you know what the future will bring for our 2nd round QB. If any of you think you know the future “Step right up” and show me. MISSOURI OVER HERE. Otherwise your opinions are like arseholes yes we all have them but some are bigger and louder than others, and that doesn’t make you any more correct.

    Glad we signed another QB we now have 2 under contract, we can now actually have a competitive OTA’s, mini camp, training camp. We should see them getting better everyday. Hopefully we draft a QB, and have a full QB room to learn the new OC’s offense.
    GO!!!!! BUCS!!!!!

  50. Dooley Says:

    “Trask NEVER had even the opportunity to “beat out” Gabbert.”

    It wasn’t a competition, it was a QB hierarchy and anybody who’s ever worked with a contractor knows if you can’t get the guy with his name on the work truck, send the next best guy and not the apprentice. 30 plus years at QB1 & QB 2 with Kyle Trask in the classroom soaking up what he can until his opportunity arises. That opportunity comes now, this year in 2022 while he’s halfway through his rookie deal. Not a coincidence, but a choice while our hand wasn’t forced with Brady & Gabbert since he was drafted. If Trask craps out no big deal, but if he does develop into “our guy” for us, that 2 years of no production we wont have to compensate him for in a 2nd deal.

  51. Dooley Says:


  52. Mike Johnson Says:

    If Trask cannot beat out Mayfield? We know beyond a doubt..he is definitely not the one.

  53. Mike C Says:

    Oneilbuc “bad fan base” Stfu, a couple of FSU fans bash on a UF fans guys and vs versa does not speak for an entire fan base smh with the post I have seen from you over the years if anyone is a cancer around here it is YOU.

  54. ABucAway Says:

    I agree with the Joe’s. QB1 is Mayfield and I’ll add that the qb competition will be for QB2. Can Mayfield be unseated? Sure. But with all the new parts and pieces on the offense, the new OC and Bowles will be focused on turning the run game around. Given that task, it makes it easier to have a vet like Mayfield on the field. He knows what he’s about and shouldn’t need as much attention as Trask will.
    I have to add that seeing White as RB1 ina similar offense scheme that he thrived in at ASU is gonna be sweet to see. I hope Canales and Goody can get it out together. It’ll be fun to watch

  55. David Says:

    Todd B. tried to draft him when he was coaching Jets. Make no mistake he was hired by Todd B. to start.
    Trask is still a rookie and is not fair for him to compete against an experience qb to start even if Bucs claim it will be a fair competition which is not true. Baker should be able to beat Trask with his experience but will lay eggs and lose games as he did with three other previous teams. He was bad even when he had the best receivers and running backs in Cleveland. Bucs just brought in a major distraction into their locker room especially with Mike E. and Godwin when he fails to get the ball to them.
    He is the most selfish player who would fight to be replaced due to his poor plays or even when he is seriously injured.

    Baker will be booed by the fans after a game or two as he was his previous teams. The crowed will be chanting for Trask even when he starts with first few interceptions.

  56. gman1 Says:

    There will be a competition for the starting gig. Tie will go to Baker….if Trask lights it up…he will start week one. End of story.

  57. Aceofaerospace Says:

    If Trask is given the opportunity to practice regularly with the 1”s in training camp and he doesn’t beat out Mayfield, then so be it. Give the kid an honest chance. That’s all anyone can ask.

  58. Usfbuc Says:

    We all knew the Bucs were signing a veteran QB. The only disappointment will be if Trask can’t beat out Mayfield then we wasted a 2nd rd pick.

  59. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    SOEbuc Says
    “Bonzai Trask is still a bum getting his bum deal. Being a longhorn fan, I have hated Mayfield with a passion for years, but he will start game one. If they go 0-6, the other guys up.”

    I don’t know if Trask can be good or not…and neither does anyone else. They wanted a veteran to backup Brady. Hence, Gabbert. Trask never really had a chance to advance.

    And this probably won’t be a true competition. You’re right, I think, that Baker is a lock to start…even if Trask lights it up in preseason. At best, Trask might earn the #2 spot.

    There are tons of football players who do better in live games than in practice. Maybe Trask could be like that. Maybe not.

    Or maybe Bowles doesn’t want to take a chance on an untested QB because his job is on the line.

  60. THOMAS PFALZ Says:

    At 4mil the Bucs got a steal.

  61. Goatfarmer Says:

    I just found out from my inside sources that Licht and Bowels decided to draft Trask so they could intentionally screw him over. Just keep him on the roster to hold the clipboard and squirt Gatorade into the starters mouth. It’s obvious, that’s what a professional team does. Draft somebody so you can keep down forever.

    Why would they ever do that? No team does that.

    Trask isn’t good enough people, the fact that you didn’t see it means, get a job with the Bucs so you can be on the field evaluating and deciding. The people that matter saw, and have decided.

  62. Woodenman Says:

    Goat has spoken cut Trask now why wait according to Goatfarmer he sucks he knows more than anyone on this site just ask him?

  63. BUCman Says:

    He signed for backup money because that is what he will be this season. Trask is being underestimated.

  64. Jay Says:

    It’s crazy how you said tank when they won more games after the benched him