Jason Licht Talks Baker Mayfield Love

October 5th, 2023

Buccaneers GM Jason Licht.

Quality read-between-the-lines fodder from Bucs general manager Jason Licht yesterday.

Licht, who would deserve an instant Buccaneers Ring of Honor enshrinement if Tampa Bay wins the NFC South this season, was talking about Baker Mayfield yesterday on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

Licht said the team’s love affair with Mayfield is real and was sort of born several years ago, and it’s almost like the Bucs are Mayfield’s first true NFL love.

“Bruce Arians was always a big fan of Baker’s, and we talked about him a lot over the past few years when Bruce was my head coach,” Licht said. “I think [Baker] is finally in a place where he’s got some stability and he’s got people that are kind of wrapping their arms around him and they truly love him as the leader and quarterback. And, you know, him toughing out some of those runs on third down and lowering his shoulder … he’s kind of won a lot of people over with that, his teammates. But he’s also done such a great job just the minute he came in here just gravitating toward the linemen, toward the receivers. Now they’re gravitating toward him. He’s a dude.”

Hearing all that from Licht, Joe took pause for a moment to try and figure out where this summer’s Kyle Trask competition fits in. Joe also wondered why there was “a lot” of Mayfield chatter when the Bucs had Jameis Winston and Tom Brady at quarterback.

The Mayfield rise in Tampa has been so much fun, and nothing about it is fluky.

Licht acknowledged how fleeting NFL success can be and that the NFC South landscape could be completely different by the end of the month.

If Mayfield can guide the Bucs to a winning record (aka finishing this season at least 6-7 in the remaning 13 games), Joe sure hopes that translates to Mayfield loving the Bucs so much he doesn’t soak them for a ridiculous contract.

58 Responses to “Jason Licht Talks Baker Mayfield Love”

  1. Lt. Dan Says:

    So a small reach here…it looks like the Bucs may have there QB for the next several years. If Trask was actually “that close” to winning the starting job; how much draft capital could he fetch in April’s selection show? John Wolford looked pretty good in those very meaningful preseason games and would be a nice back up to Baker.

  2. Beej Says:

    Trask doesn’t have enough real world experience to command anything useful for a trade. Stands to reason he’ll have to start one or two for Baker this year though, that should help

  3. orlbucfan Says:

    Hey joes, a bit off topic. Is Licht really an AC/DC fan? Does he still jump in his pool when Bucs win? BM has embraced the entire Bucs posse, and they are embracing him. Trask really has never had regular season play. I’m glad we FINALLY have two decent QBs.

  4. Bojim Says:

    I’m glad he toughs out those extra yards but I wish he wouldn’t have to run so much. Don’t need him hurt.

  5. BucsFanSince1996 Says:

    Lt. Dan Says:
    October 5th, 2023 at 8:46 am
    So a small reach here…it looks like the Bucs may have there QB for the next several years. If Trask was actually “that close” to winning the starting job; how much draft capital could he fetch in April’s selection show? John Wolford looked pretty good in those very meaningful preseason games and would be a nice back up to Baker.
    It’s a fair question. But I’d prefer to keep Trask here in Tampa IF we can afford him going forward. To get to the promised land we may need two starting quality QB’s, especially the way that Baker plays.

    QB is the most important position on the team and it makes sense to have a backup who can come in and play at a high level, even in the playoffs if needed.

  6. Beej Says:

    I WOULD like to see Trask play a few games start to finish, there’s only so much he can learn in scrimmages

  7. A Bucs Fan Says:

    I do believe Trask is a starter waiting in the wings. His history proof of that and he is under contract next year too. He’s the best kind of insurance for this season and next.

    As like-able as Baker has become in the short-term I am not certain he is a long term solution for this Bucs team.

  8. BakerFan Says:

    OK…. elephant in the room. How much you going to pay him? Would be interested how much especially in light of them not having much cap money to play with.

  9. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    It is early in the season, but so far Baker Mayfield has proven that he can play in this league. While Licht was looking for a short-term QB fill-in, he might be the long-term answer to our QB position. Let’s see how much money Mayfield is offered during the offseason.

    I highly doubt Trask will ever start this season unless Mayfield gets hurt or totally does a 180 and reverts to subpar QB.

  10. HC Grover Says:

    First lets see some games…Like the LIONS for example.

  11. BucfaninMi Says:

    SI has an article linking Canales to the Bears as HC. The Glazers are going to have to pay him like a HC or lose him. But really, 4 games! Sometimes the NFL is ridiculously stupid.

  12. Brandon Says:

    They talked about Mayfield when he came out in the draft… and they talked about acquiring him last season when Brady retired and then unretired. They were likely going to target Mayfield, or considering it. It’s highly doubtful that the Browns moved on Deshaun Watson BECAUSE they were content with Mayfield. I’m sure there were some rumblings that he could become available. The Browns may have even contacted the Bucs about trading us Mayfield when Brady retired. Then when Mayfield was released, the Bucs may have had discussions about acquiring him over waivers or after he cleared waivers to get a look at him for the future.

  13. Joseph C Simmons Says:

    “Joe also wondered why there was “a lot” of Mayfield chatter when the Bucs had Jameis Winston and Tom Brady at quarterback.”

    Dude, don’t overthink this one. Mayfield was in the news a lot, so of course front offices would chat a lot.

  14. Joshua porter Says:

    Hey Joe when are you going to do a story on Tristan wirfs stats and how good he stacks up at left tackle. Thanks for the best bucs coverage

  15. Capt2fish Says:

    If Canales goes to Chicago at the end of the year…the chances of baker staying drops unless they find enough $ to make playing for another OC under a defensive HC worth his while. I could see him following DC to Chicago or going back to mcvay and the rams if Stafford retires after this year.

  16. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Unless Mayfield can get us deep into the playoffs, he hasn’t earned a good contract.

    Our division is so bad we’ll probably walk into being division Champs and get a playoff spot.

    Mayfield has yet to beat quality teams. He’s earned at most a participation trophy.

  17. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    Article about mayfield and gaytor bois just can’t let it be

  18. domino Says:

    Article explicitly mentions “where this summer’s Kyle Trask competition fits in” but, being an FSU Fan Bois, Jeffy can’t read.

  19. Dwayne Cone Says:

    Everyone needs Love and Mayfield is no different. If the Bucs Love is what is driving his success then Great.

    Average relationship last 2 years with most ending around 7 months. By the 7th months eyes start opening up and things come into a clearer view.

    Some are needy and overlook the downside and end up clinging way to long before kicking it to the curb. That’s how some QB’s end up prolonging the inevitable by playing well in a contract year and go to crap shortly after. team gets stuck paying Millions so he can go stink it up somewhere else.

    People are way to fast to bypass the courting stage and fall in Love. Enter Bucs fans.

    I have not seen anything to Love yet.

    I’ve seen Bucs barely beat a Good Team that came out slow and has only beaten the Panthers. Baker will look HOF in those 2 games and Fans will fall deeper in love.

    I’ve seen the Bucs barely beat the Bears that are winless and are bad. Real Bad.

    I’ve seen the Bucs lose bad to a Good Team that was not playing real well.

    I’ve seen the Bucs put up 26 points on a Bad Team that the Packers and a QB with a handful of starts put up 18 points in about 12 minutes. Carr can’t use the Injured shoulder excuse because some guy and his girlfriends used that one up in 2021.

    Chubby Chicks look anorexic on the fat side of the room. Ugly Girls look better at closing time on a 6 pack beer buzz.

    What ever floats your boat I guess. Nothing about a Man running across the field excites me but to each it’s own. If someone wants to Identify as a HOF QB that’s fine. As far as a QB that has been in the league for going on 6 years with almost 80 starts I see Average and doing what should be expected. Looks great on the side of the room of Bad QB’s and Turnover Machines and on the other side of the room looks just will still be around at closing time.

    I imagine there are some eyeballing the spot on the Ring of Honor after 3 Wins. Not me.

  20. WyomingJoe Says:

    Mayfield has yet to beat quality teams? Ridiculous! Minnesota was 13-4 last year and they were in every game they played this year. And what happened last Sunday in New Orleans? Pretty good defense there. Plus, Baker has done extremely well in past seasons (2018, 2020). So all this talk about him suddenly becoming a quality starter is BS. AND, take a look at Cleveland’s record since he got traded… just sayin’

  21. SlyPirate Says:

    52 players. We get to read about 1. Yawn.

  22. HC Grover Says:

    I like Mayfield but he is no Marino. He seems solid but a long way to go against the good teams. I would not blame loss on him. I like his spunk. He throws pretty good but not great. This is a whole team test v the LIONS. Beat them like we did the Stainks and then slobber over him.

  23. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    WyomingJoe Says
    “Mayfield has yet to beat quality teams? Ridiculous! Minnesota was 13-4 last year”

    What they did last year has no bearing on this year. And maybe they were close because we’re a bad team.

  24. RichieRich Says:

    Baker wants stability more than anything. I think he’ll get ( if the BUCS make the Playoffs) a four year approx 35 million dollar deal.

  25. Defense Rules Says:

    Great article Joe and lots of great comments to go with it (pro AND con). Bottom line to me is that any QB is only as good as the TEAM, to include coaching, that surrounds him. Bucs have the classic example of that in Brady. In 2020 & 2021 Brady had the pick of the litter & he was surrounded by excellent talent. The results? 11-5 & 13-4 seasons, 5 out of 6 playoff game wins & 1 Super Bowl championship. In 2022 the talent wasn’t nearly as pronounced IMO, and Brady struggled. The result? an 8-9 season & elimination in Game 1 of the playoffs.

    Baker Mayfield is no different far as I’m concerned. This is the 1st year in his career where he’s had excellent coaching AND a solid TEAM surrounding him. Looks like he’s found a home in a system that let’s Baker Mayfield be Baker Mayfield and builds on that. I’m hoping that he has a fantastic year for obvious reasons, and that will certainly raise his ‘value’ for 2024. But hey, 1 year at a time.

    No question that 3-1 is awesome at this point, but it’s the full TEAM that’s gotten us here, not just Mayfield. Offense has put 77 points on the board, a tad over 19 PPG average. That’s not all that impressive (#19 ranking), BUT … we are steadily improving & that’s awesome. We’re 3-1 largely because our defense has given up less than that (17 PPG average), held leads in the 4th qtr, and been rocking on takeaways (10). Plus our punting & kicking has been exceptional, and coaching decisions have been rock solid to date. One game at a time, and the next one … Lions … promises to be a doozie.

  26. T. McGee Says:

    Too expensive. Don’t eat the cap up with a QB.

  27. Citrus County Says:

    Thanks JOE. You have helped me solve the mystery. BA’s love for Baker and knowing that he would be available sums it all up. TB12 wouldn’t retire while he was on top after a swan song super bowl win. That MESSED UP EVERYTHING. Deals had to be made to ensure Baker would be with the Bucs in 2 years. So Baker got the Rams offense crash course and a deal was made for Canales ahead of time. Canales had a strong connection to the Bucs through his friend (name escapes me at the moment) and it may have worked out for the best. If Baker had arrived here 2 years ago, who would have been the OC ? You guessed it. The Bucs were in an impossible position. How could they DUMP the GOAT after the GOAT had just been dumped in NE ? WOW!!! And it seems (just speculation) TB12’s EGO got in the way and he was RUMOURED to have gotten BA fired. Superstar temper tantrum ? I’ve been harsh on everyone BUT Brady. Shame on me.

  28. Citrus County Says:

    Rod Munch; my education continues. I just posted a comment that is awaiting moderation. WordPress doesn’t seem to like a word. It is a comment that I must post and don’t want to have to type it again.

  29. BillyBucco Says:

    Let me guess Bonzai you wanted Kyle Trask?
    The Saints at home is a legitimate team.
    Stop whining like a little girl.
    Baker doesn’t need to be Dan Marino.
    Baker doesn’t need to be Tom Brady.
    The comparisons are ridiculous.
    Is he flashy, no, he isn’t, but he will only get better as the offense gels.
    I agree the Baker love is over the top and I’m really tiring seeing so many articles about ONE guy, but come on.
    You CANT deny he is better than you thought.
    You dissed this team all offseason and can handle the success, so you whine and whine and whine and whine.
    You are tiring too.

  30. Buddha Says:

    No quarterback who has not won a Superbowl is loved unconditionally. Baker is no exception. The quarterback is the most important player on the team, but he can’t do it alone. Stafford couldn’t win a super bowl in Detroit and had a miserable career record until he got to the Rams. Rodgers was MVP three times and one only one super bowl. Baker’s worst game was against the Eagles but what quarterback could have won on that particular evening given how the Eagles possessed the ball for 75 per cent of the game. How many franchise quarterbacks are there really in the NFL?. The kid in Buffalo still has a lot to prove. Getting Cincinnati has been awful this year. Ditto the kid in Cleveland. Getting Dallas has won nothing of significance yet. And on and on and on it goes.

  31. Dave Pear Says:

    Four games in, it’s frightening to jump to conclusions, but aren’t we all ecstatic we’re not 1-3 and wondering “what we’ve got in Kyle Trask!”

  32. Beej Says:

    Conversely, a bad quarterback stifles the efforts the 52 other players

  33. stpetebucfan Says:

    Great points Buddha.

    And I always like to add…because some here are unaware..I know you are…that Baker’s big flaw was trying to gut it out through a severe shoulder injury. That combined with the OBJ cancer in the locker room was Baker’s demise.

    So he went to Carolina and LA, healed and here he is.

    Sadly there are some here waiting for his first 3 int game…and there will possible be one or two to bail totally.

    Baker’s original problem is that he is cocky. OR depending on your point of view he has swagger. It’s a fine line…running to an opponents bench while he was at OU and grabbing his crotch crossed that line…planting an OU flag in the middle of Ohio Stadium after beating the Buckeyes probably another immature mistake.

    Combine all of that with OBJ the cancer, with all the immediate recognition and series of commercial as the #1 pick and Heisman winner and then the shoulder injury…it was a perfect storm.

  34. Citrus County Says:

    I read too many Perry Mason books when I was a kid. I will never know what truly happened last year or the year before. Once again I apologize to any that were wrongfully accused. Regardless of what the situation really was last year, I still believe it could have been handled better but I’m a monopoly player and not a multi-billionaire. Like George Carlin said ” It’s one big club and you ain’t in it.”

  35. Vlad The Impaler Says:

    The Dude Abides in Tampa

  36. Bucsfanman Says:

    Some great points all the way around.
    I think it’s been easy to forget Baker’s talent through all the drama that stpete alluded to. He can play, and he’s a whole lot better than a bunch of other “starters” from other teams.
    It’s a “honeymoon phase” at 3-1 but I think Baker is good enough with the talent around him to take us to the playoffs, even possibly for the next few years.

  37. Bucs13 Says:

    @Defense Rules. It’s interesting that we’re only averaging one more point than last years offense, yet you would think by fans reactions that this was the high-powered offenses from 2020 and 2021. Perception is everything.

  38. StormyInFl Says:

    “Dave Pear Says:
    October 5th, 2023 at 1:55 pm
    Four games in, it’s frightening to jump to conclusions, but aren’t we all ecstatic we’re not 1-3 and wondering “what we’ve got in Kyle Trask!””

    Not everyone. I’m sure there’s contingent of the Gator fan club that’s disappointed that Mayfield hasn’t fallen flat on his face – namely all the clowns who pollute the game day threads with ‘bring in Trask!’ nonsense every series where the offense doesn’t perform.

    I, for one, hope we NEVER have to see ‘what we have in Trask’. It would mean the season is in the toilet and the Bucs have given up. No thank you.

  39. SufferingSince76 Says:

    HC Grover at the end of the season: let’s see them win a playoff game first.

  40. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Point I’ve bin trying to make all off season since we signed baker is if he does good and leads us to the playoffs and I hope he does but we can’t afford him. So many pieces to sign then add in one of the most expensive positions in the league and we can’t pay the guy. If he walks then we still have trask but by then dude still hasn’t played in any games a while he was neck and neck in the competition he doesn’t have any good experience in the game. Only if we sign baker does this all work out for our future if we don’t sign him then it was a terrible mistake unless he wins us a Super Bowl.

  41. Citrus County Says:

    Quality read-between-the-lines fodder from Bucs general manager Jason Licht yesterday. “when Bruce was my head coach,” Licht said.”

  42. Citrus County Says:

    There is no doubt who is running this team. After 47 years I’m glad to see it.

  43. ModHairKen Says:

    No state income tax. Warm 11.9 months a year. Access to the water. Hockey and baseball. And he’s finally on a stable team with a fan base pulling for him. (Other than the Trask and Jameis weirdos).

    There is no chance Baker looks anywhere else. No chance.

  44. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    Baker just needed a hug.

  45. Cobraboy Says:

    If Stiff Arm can put up big O numbers against a credible defense, I may begin to have some of that Baker Love™ myself.

  46. optimisticbucsfan Says:

    The whole team has exceeded expectations

    3-1 is great

    Go Bucs!

  47. Cobraboy Says:

    @Bucs13: Different O than when Tom Terrific ran the show. Arians liked the riskit biscuit, but Bowles does not.

    I dunno, but this O seems more controlled and purpose-driven, than quick strike.

    One noticeable metric I have seen is this D is still cookin’ with gas in Q4, whereas last season they were worn down, tired puppies by Q4 since they were on the field so long, thanks to the Bucs constant 3-and-outs.

  48. Wild Bill Says:

    My guess is Trask got a lot of preseason play because the Bucs wanted to catch up after neglecting him the past two years. The Bucs knew Baker would be the starter. What they did not know was if Trask was adequate to be the qb on a temporary basis if Baker was injured for a few games. Trask did surprisingly well. Mission accomplished. They had strong starter and decent backup.

  49. Vlad The Impaler Says:

    Wild Bill is spot-on I think.

    I really thought that this team would be combination of Raheems lack of discipline and Lovies game planning.
    Feels completely awesome to have been wrong about these Bucs.

    They look disciplined, and dare I say it … smart

  50. JD Still Says:

    A bit of advice, you should never put your admissions ,fantasies or exuberant celebratory exclamations in print in public forums, because then it is forever and can come back to haunt you, (for example , a politician at the beginning of the twentieth century who suggested the patent office should be closed down because everything that could be invented , had been invented), even more true when you are talking about the projected long term success of athletes who do not have a long record of successes.

  51. Citrus County Says:

    stpetebucfan Says:Baker’s original problem is that he is cocky. OR depending on your point of view he has swagger. It’s a fine line…running to an opponents bench while he was at OU and grabbing his crotch crossed that line…planting an OU flag in the middle of Ohio Stadium after beating the Buckeyes probably another immature mistake.

    I didn’t know that. Let’s hope maturity takes hold. But humility is a hard attribute to learn.

  52. stpetebucfan Says:


    I think his “travails”…btw he got suspended a game at OU for the crotch grabbing, the sore shoulder, the ignominious dump by Cleveland and the disaster that was Carolina have made him a far wiser guy. He’s matured and learned from his experience.

    I thought the same thing might happen for Fameis Jameis but it’s not happening in N.O. Perhaps like Baker J.W. needs yet another team to find himself. I thought the Jets would come knocking…low salary…low trade value, not much the Jets would have to give up…But Rod our resident J.W. fanboy and expert claims since his injuries JW is not the same. I certainly bow to Rod’s knowledge of JW’s current condition I don’t keep up with him except when he plays the Bucs.

  53. Citrus County Says:

    St.Pete. Arians was a fanboy of Baker and that sort of old school conduct would seem to fit with the Kangol Hat philosophy of football. I don’t see Licht, Bowles, Canales or especially the Glazers endorsing that conduct for the public view. That leads me back to the the theory of the perfect blend between Tony Dungy and Mike Tomlin showing in Todd Bowles. I am beginning to think the stars have aligned for the Bucs and their fans. I would also be willing to bet that Baker was emphatically admonished for his “woody” comment that was recorded and can’t be denied.

  54. Citrus County Says:

    It’s nice to be able to have a back and forth and learn from these comments.

    Bwaaaaahhhhhhaaaahhahahaha. and lololololol. just doesn’t get it.

  55. Shane Callahan Says:

    Hey “Defense Rules,” I liked your post. Mayfield, Montana, Marino, etc can only be as good as the team and coaching are. Period.

  56. Shane Callahan Says:

    Marino would’ve done as good as Montana if he’d been on the 49ers. Barry Sanders would’ve done as good as Emmitt Smith with the Cowboys. Mayfield would be doing just as good as Mahomes with the Chiefs…

  57. David Says:

    Nice going Mr. GM
    You wasted a second round qb and never gave him a chance to be a back up let alone to become a starter. Instead you allowed the Toilet Bowl change to a new system, new OC with a failed qb, Baker. You and Bucs are disgraced in destroying draft picks futures. Now you are bragging about a resented qb that you hired to scam fans to celebrate possibility of another year of becoming the king of south.
    Do you really think Baker can survive or be wanted in any other division ?

  58. garro Says:

    The “dude” in Jason is a big reason why I think he is the best GM in the league.

    He is not wrong about Baker the ball carrier. We desperately need him healthy! To rely on him to continue the offensive feats he has accomplished so far is dangerous to say the least.

    I’m not sure about the safety valve receivers in this offense, but maybe we need a bit more of that from our guys. Just saying.

    Go Bucs!