Baker Mayfield And The Dixie Chicks

February 15th, 2024

Atlanta interest?

Last week, of course, Joe was in Las Vegas to dig up Bucs stories so a lot of the time Joe hung out at the Super Bowl Media Center at Mandalay Bay.

Another guy there is maybe the coolest NFL beat guy in the country. That’s D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. This guy covers Atlanta like a blanket. Nobody knows the ins and outs of the Dixie Chicks like Ledbetter (and no one wears better lids).

All across the NFL folks think the Dixie Chicks just might be the team to look out for if Bucs free agent quarterback Baker Mayfield can’t come to a deal with the Bucs in the coming weeks.

While Ledbetter can see how folks think that — they are looking for a quarterback — Ledbetter told Joe he isn’t sure Atlanta has the resources to one-up the Bucs with a better contract offer. So is Rah going to try to steal Baker Mayfield?

D. Orlando Ledbetter: I don’t think so. I don’t think they’ve gotten that far on [researching] quarterbacks. Just listening to them today, they don’t sound like they’ve gotten that far on their quarterback search. They are going to look far and wide. But they don’t have that much money if Tampa wants to — but Tampa doesn’t have that much money either — if they got into a bidding war. That is something to watch.

If Atlanta did go after Mayfield, that would be a classic George Steinbrenner move. When Steinbrenner was still lucid and running the Yankees, he would buy free agents from rivals, not so much because his team needed them but because it weakened his rival.

The Dixie Chicks — with a terrible coach — only finished two games behind the Bucs and the one win by the Bucs was razor-thin. What a way for Atlanta to leapfrog the Bucs in the division if not neuter them by stealing their quarterback.

Another element to watch: Raheem Morris brought with him from Los Angeles Zac Robinson as the offensive coordinator. He was Mayfield’s quarterback coach there in 2022.

67 Responses to “Baker Mayfield And The Dixie Chicks”

  1. Lt. Dan Says:

    Franchise tag..threat eliminated.

  2. Bucsfan Says:

    Raheem will want a vet at QB

  3. Sue Says:

    Nice Lt Dan

  4. Onetrickpony Says:

    I trust the Falcons just as much as I trust the sleazy Saints.

  5. Wayne perez Says:

    What in the hell is Jason waiting for

  6. Bobby M. Says:

    Mayfield and his agent recognize he really can’t go anywhere due to the franchise tag and Mayfield wants to stay. I’m looking for a 4 yr deal with $90 million in guarantees. Probably has a big bump in base pay in yr 3 to either restructure if we want to keep him OR release him if it’s not working out. Mayfield also negotiates the Bucs forfeit using the tag down the road.

  7. heyjude Says:

    Agree with Bobby M., Mayfield found a good fit with the Bucs and really does want to stay here. Negotiate to stay.

  8. #99 the big fella Says:

    This is nonsense no way Baker goes to Atlanta. He found a home with the bucks. They took a chance on him. Got his career back on track. Why would he go to another team and start all over again

  9. Jack Clark Says:

    Baker Mayfield should only take up 10%-15% of our salary cap because he can’t carry our team. 85%-90% of our cap should go to building a super team around mayfield to compensate for his lack of talent

  10. stpetebucfan Says:


    “maybe the coolest NFL beat guy in the country.”

    Maybe? Nah you two guys are the coolest NFL beat guys in the country!

    Again I’ll use an old musical reference. You guys are like the “Godfather of Soul” James Brown…AKA “The Hardest Working Man in show business”.

    As someone who actually had the privilege of covering sports professionally in another lifetime, I’m continually impressed by your work ethic. There are two of you but your output is like an 8 man Sports Dept.

    Hopefully, we’re soon reaching a period where you two finally get to take some vacay time! I know the NFL never stops but perhaps it’ll slow to where one of you get to relax while the other is reduced to the output of just four guys. LOL

  11. Lt. Dan Says:

    @#99: Disagree.

    All is fair in love and war as the saying goes. The NFL is a business first and foremost. Atlanta has to look attractive to Baker. Two beastly running backs. Two excellent TE’s. Good WR’s. At least two coaches that he is familiar with. Indoor stadium so for at least half the season weather won’t be an issue. That’ll pump up Bakers stats. Did I forget anything?

  12. Boss Says:

    All good comments so far. Basically if he is fair, then sign him.

    If it’s all about the $$ for him, then wish him well.

  13. stpetebucfan Says:

    Of course none of this is happening in a vacuum. The NFL has a draft coming up with supposedly the strongest group of QB prospects in decades! Most mocks have QB’s going 1-2-3 with more to follow. That is one thing in the Buc’s favor and working against Baker.

    As far as the Falcons going after Baker. Perhaps? But Chicago is reportedly going to grab Caleb with the #1 pick freeing them to trade Justin Fields and the Falcons along with NE are mentioned frequently.

    ESPN’s Adam Schefter has reported recently the Bears could fetch a second-round or even a first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft in return for Fields. If that’s the case, it’s hard to argue the Bears should hold on to Fields.

    So the choice for the Falcons…IF they believe Fields turned it around the 2nd half of the season make the trade..spend a 2nd round pick and save some $$$ for a couple years…especially relative to what Baker would cost them.

  14. George R Says:

    ATL doesn’t want Mayfield. They will take a QB with there first pick. A new coaching staff they want to start and draft their QB of the future.

  15. Joe Says:

    Maybe? Nah you two guys are the coolest NFL beat guys in the country!

    Thanks but “Led” has far more swag.

  16. zzbucs Says:

    As long as the Bucs don´t overpay I am excited to have Baker back, and that number is in between 30/35mm….. If the Falcons go with more than that, let him go…..We are missing just a good QB, but the sky is not falling……

  17. heyjude Says:

    If we lost Baker, the sky will sort of slant. The same if we lose Evans at the same time. Hoping for Baker to take a sound number to stay as well as Evans. I don’t believe they would even consider going to the Falcons. We shall see.

  18. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Falcons have the 8th pick…..they should be able to get a good QB…..

  19. Allbuccedup Says:

    30 or 35 mil for one average QB for one average NFL year I don’t know maybe 20 or 25 mil more than that let him see if he can get more if not he will be back. I don’t believe anyone else would offer him more.

  20. Aceofaerospace Says:

    Another huge factor is the state income tax in Georgia. Atlanta has to outbid Tampa by at least that amount to even be on equal footing. Plus, in my opinion, Atlanta metropolis sucks. Sucks 1000 fold compared to Tampa. I don’t care how nice your mansion is or where it’s located, it’s still Atlanta.

  21. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Smart GMs know the longer you wait, the better the chances of your player coming to terms. We are still a month away. No need to panic.

  22. D Cone Says:

    If 2023 showed anything it would be the affect a good coach can have on a QB performing at a Sub Par level.
    Falcons have a Guy that is 8-12 after being tossed in his 1 year. Half of the losses were due to young mistakes from trying to do too much and turning the ball over.

    When you look at the tape on Ridder he throws a good ball and is mobile. All he needs is some Coaching and he would be the best in the Division next season at a Hot 1.3 million.

    Mayfield will get paid. Jones and Carr did. Then he will proceed to get his team as far as the Raiders and Giants got with their Money Pit.

    Bucs didn’t win the South in 2023. Saints and Falcons gave it away. Won’t be as fortunate in 2024 unless they invest more in the line than they do behind it.

  23. #99 the big fella Says:

    Lt Dan , you make a great case, but I still one hundred percent don’t think he will be leaving the bucs

  24. stpetebucfan Says:


    I do not believe the Saints “gave” the Bucs their win in the Superdome!

  25. Beeej Says:

    I can’t see how Atlanta has no cap room, they have no non-rookie superstars, have signed no big time free agents

  26. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Lt. Dan

    “Franchise tag..threat eliminated.”

    You just eliminated Mike Evans and Winfield as well.

    The Bucs cannot afford to tag Baker @ $35M.

  27. Capt.Tim Says:

    “ If we lose Mayfield, the sky is not falling”
    Hard to imagine someone actually thinks that way.

    There are tonly two kinds of teams in the NFL.
    Teams that have an uber talented QB, and are building around him to win a title.
    Or the hopeless teams, tanking to draft some rookie. Then they invest 4-5 years finding out if he can handle the speed of the Game, and the milions of dollar’s hes now got in the bank.
    We just did that. Number one pick. Highly rated QB.
    Spend 5 years figuring out that he couldnt adjust to NFL Secondaries.

    Baker means we are building for a title.
    No Baker means we are once again desperately trying to find a QB. Thats it.
    Because without a QB,you arent winning anything.

  28. Marine Buc Says:

    Plus – have any of you been to Atlanta recently?

    It’s a first rate sh!thole…

  29. WyomingJoe Says:

    I love how the media keeps pumping up this QB class as the greatest since 1983 when 6 QBs were taken in the first round. Yeah, the ‘83 class produced some greats in Elway, Kelly and Marino but also gave us Blackledge, Eason and O’Brien! So yeah, the draft is a crapshoot.

    And if you’re the Bucs, with some HUGE needs in the interior O-line and at DE, then you need to address that first. But if a you find a young QB who falls into your lap, do you take him? If you do, then what happens to Trask? Remember, according to the Cult he has greatness written all over him.

    We came VERY CLOSE to the NFC Championship game and probably would have won it if we were stronger in the trenches.

  30. Lt. Dan Says:

    @ Everybody: In JL we trust!

  31. Joe Says:

    Eason and O’Brien!

    Eason got his team to the Super Bowl. His biggest problem was he was brittle.

    O’Brien was actually pretty decent. His problem was he was in the same division as Marino and Kelly.

  32. Tony marks Says:

    Lt. Dan Says:
    Did I forget anything?

    Yes you did. Atlanta doesn’t have Emily’s OBGYN.
    Atlanta doesn’t have her already chosen Pediatrician.
    IF you think these things are small then you hav never had kids. If you realize they are HUGE then you know – No woman wants to change those on short notice.

    Unless the money is really a big difference The one carrying the bambino gets The lions share of the consideration and after birth the new born daughter runs that house..

  33. Gipper Says:

    Nice try. Baker heading to Pitts. The usual dullards on this blog will be happy with this news. With Mayfield, Pitts becomes competition in AFC to dethrone KC. TJ Watt best defender in AFC and Mike Tomlin always has his team ready to play. Tampa with Trask and or rookie QB in 2024 third place South 7-10.

  34. Since76 Says:

    That would be great for the bucs. Cash strap the chicks and they wouldn’t upgrade the position. That would be a big win in the off-season. Go bucs!!!

  35. Nicholas Carlson Says:

    There is a zero percent chance Mayfield is playing for another team next year. Evans a far more interesting and worrying storyline to follow. I think he wants to be a Buccaneer, but boy he’s gotta be tempted to pull a Donovan Smith and go pick up another title with the Chiefs.

  36. Tony marks Says:

    WyomingJoe Says:

    And if you’re the Bucs, with some HUGE needs in the interior O-line and at DE, then you need to address that first. But if a you find a young QB who falls into your lap, do you take him?

    Wjoe thoes in that camp are all hoping on Penix. Thing is thats where your point of the OL comes up. Penix is an in the pocket guy that doesn’t do much scrambling or running and a history of numerous injuries. So even their hopeful prosoect needs the line addressed or its an injury disaster waiting to happen. Looking at Penix and how he is built suggest to me he has not seen his last injury.

    I do loooove his long ball though.

  37. Jake been there since the beginning Says:

    I like Baker so don’t get me wrong ok. If they can persuade him in Atlanta a franchise tag could put him in get back mode. We do have D. White in which there was something going on last season, right? I thought he was pretty phenomenal in the Superbowl year cause he was running like a pitbull that had his taste of blood so to say. Can we use him to trade up a few spots? I think someone within the organization likes Penix. He’s really good but needs to mature into being able to deal with pressure. I like him and I did pay attention to the regular season in college last year, he’s got heart, Let’s Go Bucs!!!

  38. BucsFanSince1996 Says:

    Georgia has a State income tax unlike Florida so that will be a little bit of a help for the Bucs in a bidding war.

    I doubt there will be much of a bidding war with the Falcons anyhow as they have a high draft pick and can save a fortune by acquiring a QB that way.

    If there was no salary cap (like in baseball) they might go after Mayfield to hurt the Bucs. But when Steinbrenner went after players the was no salary cap he had to concern himself with. If the Falcons outbid the Bucs to hurt the Bucs it will hurt the Falcons as well.

  39. ModHairKen Says:

    After years of turbulence, Mayfield is in a stable situation here with a career year behind him. Why would he leave? Unless the offer is insulting.

    I agree, sign him without the tag so that it can be used elsewhere.

    Pay Evans now. Pay him Top 5 WR pay. You gambled and lost, Licht.

  40. stpetebucfan Says:

    Certainly not me but I suspect there are posters here who would diminish Kelly for reaching 4 SB’s but not winning them. And poor Marino…

    Again…it’s still a TEAM game. Great QB’s are a HUGE advantage but they are not everything. Better to have one than not but they are like hen’s teeth hard to find in the draft. And they come from every round…more of course the higher you go but Brady in the 6th round says it all.

  41. Beeej Says:

    “Marine Buc Says:
    February 15th, 2024 at 9:59 am
    Plus – have any of you been to Atlanta recently?

    It’s a first rate sh!thole…”


    I’m working here (on the outskirts) this week, and I can attest to the accuracy of your statement. On top of all else, $5 motel tax per night, on TOP of city/county/state sales tax. Traffic gridlocked EVERYWHERE within 50 miles of downtown EVERY FRIKKIN day during rush hour, and every quarter mile you see more housing complexes being built

  42. Marky Mark Says:

    Whether Baker can carry a team is up for debate. The real issue is the available options. Fields, kT, Darnold, minshew, a rookie oh my. Like last year he is the best available option

  43. WyomingJoe Says:

    @JOE: Concerning Eason and O’Brien … I’m not saying that they weren’t good, because I watched them play many times. But they weren’t – as the Media echo chamber and many of the “fans” on this site say, “Elite.” Because everyone wants an elite QB. Not that I, nor anyone I’ve ever talked with, knows exactly what that term really means. I think that many conflate the terms clutch and elite.

    Even the vaunted 1983 draft with all that potential talent, only one QB actually won Super Bowls: Elway. Isn’t that what elite QBs are supposed to do WIN Super Bowls?

    I consider Mahomes to be the best QB in the league, and even though he won the SB this year, I didn’t consider his play during the season as elite. Even his heroics in the 4th quarter of the SB wasn’t elite, but it was clutch. If elite means that you can carry a team on your back and drag them over the goal line, then Mahomes, with his 6 losses this year (could have easily been 8) was not elite.

    That’s why I say that EVERY QB in the league needs talent around him. Even Mahomes.

  44. SB~LV Says:

    The market is paying 40 million
    Pay up for go back to scratch and dent NFL QB bin

  45. WyomingJoe Says:

    @Tony Marks: I agree with you Tony that many on this site are wishing for Penix to fall to 26, but his 4 surgeries are scary. If you’re that beaten up in college and you’re a pocket passer, then you’re going to be in trouble on most teams, including the Bucs. Although, I agree, he does throw a nice deep ball.

    However, if you do sign Baker, why waste a high pick on another QB? If you don’t think Baker is the answer, don’t re-sign him!

  46. WyomingJoe Says:

    @StPeteBucsFan: I agree with you that Kelly was really good and was always under-appreciated because of Buffalo’s 4 SB losses. They should have won two of those.

    I consider Marino to be one of the very best I ever saw. It’s a shame that Miami never could get him a good defense. If he had the Steel Curtain to rely on, he might be considered the GOAT because he might have won 7 or 8 Super Bowls.

  47. Hodad Says:

    My guess is the Chicks move up in the draft for a QB, or trade for Fields. I know Baker boys, and Joe will pound the table saying baker is better then Fields, but I doubt Atlanta, or the rest of the league thinks that way. QB rich draft, or Fields, Baker will be like Richard Gere in an officer, and a gentlemen. “I got no where else to go”!! Believe me, Bucs will bid against themselves, and pay more then any other team would pay.

  48. JK Says:

    Mayfield will be a Pittsburgh Steeler next season. Cease all speculation; its what both parties want

  49. Davenport Says:

    Mayfield’s “good fit” and “home” with the Bucs only really exists if Bowles is the HC. He’ll be tying himself to a guy that might only be here for another year.

    Bowles history suggests that the late, late, season positive performance by the team is not who he is as a HC. The next guy might not want to tie himself to Mayfield…. then what?

  50. Let ‘em bake Says:

    The new oc and his system in Atalanta is extremely qb friendly. Mindful it’s the nfc south, one could see a tannehill or minschew succeed, while a drake maye type pick waits and learns. Minschew is a it underrated , I believe .

  51. Beeej Says:

    Minshew has been dumped by as many teams as Baker (considering that the Rams didn’t dump him, just weren’t going to elevate him above Stafford)

  52. SB~LV Says:

    If the Bucs don’t pay market value ASAP while thinking that they want him in 2024 and beyond they are holding the door open for Baker to run through.
    They already had his services on the cheap and know his importance to the team and locker room.
    The Bucs played Jameis for 5 torturous years when it was clear he was not improving.
    I’m only commenting on the corner the Bucs find themselves in and the longer the clock ticks the more time Baker has to think about his options elsewhere.

  53. Tony marks Says:


    The geniuses on here haven’t figured out how the calndar of events figures into all this.

    Evans seems almost certain to at least try free aency. When he looks and sees free agency come around and you haven’t signed Baker he has no reason to think they are going to get it done. So when another teams comes calling for His WR services his ears will be extra oen. . IF you franchise tag Baker and take the cap hit then you make it easier for other teams to get in on mike.

    Frankly If i were mike I’d take a little less money to go to HOuston. for the simple reason its a bigger market and If I go back and play as the home town hero I am going to get endorsement deals for probably decades to come. Mega millions if I win a SB with Stroud. I still see ads with players from the Marino days in Maimi.

    All of this risk is predicated on whats goiing to happen in the last event of note in the offseason – the draft. Why in the world should Evans want to bank on a super star materializing at pick 26? If you end up losing Evans because you played with Baker then hold tight because without those two who left on the team won’t think – the party is over get me off this ship.

  54. adam from ny Says:

    here we go again,,,

    3 years 100 mil so baker can cook in the pot…

    guarantee most of it…

    let’s roll…

    or slap the franchise, and work it out during the season after a 3 int game lol 🙂

  55. Gipper Says:


    Here is why Mayfield will leave after career turbulence. When a team signs a QB to a long term deal with a significant part guaranteed, that team is essentially telling the QB that you have long term stability. The Steelers are well run and when they make a long term deal with Mayfield, he will be their QB for 3-5 years. The long run is just a series of short runs. When Mayfield takes the Steelers to the Super Bowl, he will sign an extension. Mayfield will be a Steeler for a long time.

  56. catcard202 Says:

    I honestly would have not qualms with letting Baker walk…I could see Bucs being successful in 2024 with Gardner Minshew in Tampa on much cheaper deal!

    Liam Coen’s OFF & Bucs OFF weapons would mesh well with what Minshew does well…& the stash would play well in the local market!

  57. optimisticbucsfan Says:



  58. Student of the Game Says:

    catcard202, if you want cheap just join in with the Trask lovers. He’s cheap. You won’t win, but its cheap.

    Minishew is not Mayfield level talent. I don’t understand all this let Mayfield walk mindset, when the team is 2-3 players in right spots (not QB) from making the Super Bowl again. When Mahomes and Mayfield were in college, Baker won head to head game in a shootout. Better supporting cast. The only difference in Mahommes now and Mayfield is the surrounding cast. OL, another lockdown DB and end rusher. Stud rookie receivers make an impact sooner than a stud QB. Love to keep both, but if its not possible due to the cap, for team results Mayfield > Evans.

  59. Kidfloflo Says:

    Atlanta will draft a qb so they can have him on a rookie deal…and that city is no Hyde park to live in, so Baker and his new family will stay…patience young grasshoppers

  60. Marky Mark Says:

    If the steelers pay top dollar Baker could go. Great coach. Great owners. Revenge on the Browns 2x per year…but the Chiefs in same conference.

  61. GhostofBrady Says:

    Bobby M. Says:
    “Mayfield and his agent recognize he really can’t go anywhere due to the franchise tag and Mayfield wants to stay. I’m looking for a 4 yr deal with $90 million in guarantees. Probably has a big bump in base pay in yr 3 to either restructure if we want to keep him OR release him if it’s not working out.”

    I find it odd for us (including myself) to talk about what someone else deserves to make. Especially in a backdrop where the NFL is raking in big dough each year and by mandate have to share that bootee with their players. And only 20 people on the planet can do what these guys do.

    A QB making $35M 4 years ago is worth $50M today. Inflation baby. Which is why I would not be surprised Baker gets $45M a year. But I am with you – $40M (not $35M) per year average structured as 4 years at $80M guaranteed and backloaded to $150M. That’s $37.5M average which is slightly below top 15 QB money considering the QB rate will go up each of the next two years. Dak Prescott will probably ask for north of $45M when his contract ends in 2025. Baker for $37.5M annual average would be a bargain.

    With pay scale increase, signing bonus and void years 5 and 6, they can work it so he only counts $20M against the cap this year and $30M next year. If he sucks it up they cut him after 2 years and split the remaining $30M dead cap in year 3 and 4. If he works out, they’ll renegotiate add more dollars, more years, more voided years, keep paying other players to hammerlock the NFC South and aim for the SB.

  62. Capt.Tim Says:

    Finally something we can all agree on.
    Atlanta is a sh*thole.

    It’l be as bad as Detroit in a couple more years. Another dying city.

  63. beeej Says:

    7 frikkin lanes of traffic going thru, STILL took 90 minutes to progress from Fayetteville (10 miles SOUTH of Atlanta) to Norcross (mebbe 15 miles NE of Atlanta)

  64. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Yellow Leadbetter is like the pimp in “I’m Gonna Get You, Sucka!” Only thing missing are the goldfish clogs.

    The NFC South is getting “dirtier” by the day. Canales aka El Hornay goes to Carolina, Falcones have “Revenge of the Rah” going for them and The Sewer City Saints are who we thought they were…and could add Gruden in a meaningful capacity. Game On; Giddy Up!

  65. GhostofBrady Says:

    Winny Testaverde Says:
    “The NFC South is getting “dirtier” by the day. Canales aka El Hornay goes to Carolina, Falcones have “Revenge of the Rah” going for them and The Sewer City Saints are who we thought they were…and could add Gruden in a meaningful capacity. Game On; Giddy Up!”

    With that backdrop which means higher probability of success to win the South and have a home playoff game… meaning higher probability to make a deep playoff run… Some of the folks want to blow it up and take a chance on drafting a rookie, letting Trask to the snaps or spend $10M on Minshew, Tannehill, Fields, whatever trash is out there. So we can all feel better about saving $20-25M against a $250M cap on the most important player on the field. Epitome of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

  66. ExBrownsFan Says:

    Not happening

  67. SB~LV Says: