Baker Mayfield “Interesting” Enough To Help Shape The 2024 NFL Season

February 14th, 2024

Franchise tag?

So the 2023 season has been over for a little over two days. Dan Graziano of ESPN is looking ahead.

He and his colleagues at the four-letter have cobbled together a list of the top-80 most interesting things that will “shape” the 2024 season.

Quarterbacks (and the lack of a quarterback for some teams) will surely determine who win it all next winter and who will be selected high in the draft.

The second player on this list is none other than Bucs pending free agent quarterback Baker Mayfield.

One way or the other, Graziano believes Mayfield will be back with the Bucs. If he leaves, he could doom the Bucs and maybe take another team deep into the playoffs.

The marriage between Mayfield and the Bucs was a productive one, and Tampa Bay will likely try to bring him back — even if that means a franchise tag. …

The question is, what’s the right deal for Mayfield? He signed a one-year deal worth up to $8.5 million last March and then threw 28 touchdown passes for the NFC South champs. Should he now make Daniel Jones money? Should he make more? How big of a bet will the Buccaneers want to place on the idea that Mayfield’s 2023 was a true renaissance rather than the latest peak in a peaks-and-valleys career?

Is Mayfield worth Daniel Jones money? Of course he is. But Graziano almost seems to blow past a real option here.

Joe thinks it is fair to say Mayfield may regress a little this fall. After all, he just had a career year. Not often do players have back-to-back career years.

So the Bucs might be smart to franchise Mayfield and see if he really does regress, or if he does, how much. That will then help set his benchmark for 2025 and beyond.

49 Responses to “Baker Mayfield “Interesting” Enough To Help Shape The 2024 NFL Season”

  1. BakerFan Says:

    Franchise tagging sends the wrong message as well as does the Bucs no favors on cap issues. Tired head on this subject, just do something and move on.

  2. SlyPirate Says:

    The QB tag is $32M. The tag makes sense if Baker is looking for more than $30M. The problem is the tag eats up cap. $32M is a big bite.

    Personally, I think Licht and team Baker already have a deal done.

  3. Statistically Insignificant Reader Says:

    Joe your fan site is the best and I check it every day.
    Rarely read the comments as it seems the clueless trolls have have taken over and turned it into the mindless twilight zone.
    Keep the articles coming, most are not the know it alls and appreciate your reporting.

  4. Please Says:

    Baker had his chance to be a 40m quarterback on that final drive against the Lions. An interception worth 13 million, if I was Licht.

    I like Mayfield but at 41m per year…? To what cost?

    And this contract comparison with Daniel Jones has got to stop. Baker is a better quarterback, but NY did a contract that crippled their team. $27-28m/year would be my offer.

  5. Bucswin? Says:

    I would say Baker has a lot of room for improvement. I mean just scoring a touchdown on an opening drive or two would be a big one.

  6. catcard202 Says:

    Bucs FO can’t get all mushy & throw Daniel Jones money at Baker. That’s just a non-starter. He is not a $40M/yr QB…He just isn’t.

    If they have to tag him…Well, that takes coin off the table to bring back Evans, LVD, Winfield & McLaughlin. Who is expendable from that group that won’t lessen the chances of being successful in 2024?? I’d argue Bucs need every single one of them back to have a chance at stealing another NFC South title.

    Best case scenario is Baker takes a Geno Smith deal with a lower YR1 cap # that allows the FO to do it’s job of getting the band back together.

  7. Pickgrin Says:

    2024 QB Franchise tag is $36M.

    If Baker plays under the franchise tag – then all $36M counts against the 2024 salary cap.

    The Bucs currently have $37.6M in available cap space – with Baker, Winfield Jr, Evans, LD54 and McLaughlin all unsigned…..

    Mayfield is NOT going to be Franchise tagged!

    The only way this works to get all 5 of our “must re-sign” free agents back in red and pewter is for all 5 to agree to reasonable if not team friendly deals – and then back load the crap out of all 5 contracts…..

  8. BigMacAttack Says:

    I think Mayfield could have a much better year and hasn’t come close to his ceiling yet. I don’t see regression with Baker. He’s tough and plays hard but has to stay healthy.

  9. BillyBucco Says:

    They will free up about 50-55 extra million this year by designating Jensens retirement and cutting Gage post June 1st and restructuring guys they want to keep. Money won’t be the issue with NOT resigning certain guys.
    Either Way though, you either keep Baker and at least 25 million will count towards the cap, or you ride with Trask or say Penix or a backup and bring in FAs to give those guys time on O Line and an edge rusher to get off the field.
    I like Baker, but he is NOT a stud who can replace the production of three other 10 million a year guys. He had a chance to bring his team back and choked.

  10. BakerFan Says:

    Jalen Hurts signed a $51 Million a year contract, who did Baker Mayfield beat in the playoffs? Just saying for those who think Mayfield should sign for half of what Hurts makes for a “team friendly deal”.

    Get real, when teams decide to move on from a player do they ever give a “player friendly deal”.

  11. Tony marks Says:

    “Joe thinks it is fair to say that Mayfield may regress a little this fall. After all, he just had a career year. Not often do players have back-to-back career years.”

    False narratives always seem convincing when they are based on false facts.

    This is Baker’s THIRD YEAR doing about the same stats

    His rookie yards adjusted for games played would have set him at around 4500 yards ( he only played 14 games)

    2020 with the Browns comes in at about the same Tds and ints. give or take a couple and the yardage adjusted for 17 games about 250 yards different

    Stop spreading the total myth that this was some great outlier to his career so he can’t possibly repeat or exceed it. The aberrations were his year injured and with the stinking Panthers ( who got the first round pick in the draft and STiILL suck at QB).

    If anything he has gotten better in lowering his ints. Thats the most significant change which is upward.

  12. ocala Says:

    Bucs should sign Baker to a three- or four-year deal and franchise tag Mike Evans this year and probably again next year. The reason this makes sense is Mike deserves to be one of the highest paid receivers in the NFL. However, the problem is his age. Bucs would get his services for one or two more years, but not be saddled with a contract where his production falls off a cliff which is likely to happen with a four-year contract.

  13. Tony marks Says:

    Pickgrin Says:
    February 14th, 2024 at 9:50 am
    2024 QB Franchise tag is $36M.

    If Baker plays under the franchise tag – then all $36M counts against the 2024 salary cap.

  14. ocala Says:

    Nice research @Tony marks.

  15. Gipper Says:

    Mayfield to Pitts $40Mill/yr. for 5 yrs. Write it down. Rod Munch deserves Trask. Mayfield with Pitts defense gets him to AFC championship and maybe more next year.

  16. BillyBucco Says:

    Why am I getting moderated Joe?
    Frustrating to type out a well thought couple paragraphs and it just disappears.

  17. Tony marks Says:

    Pickgrin Says:
    February 14th, 2024 at 9:50 am
    2024 QB Franchise tag is $36M.

    If Baker plays under the franchise tag – then all $36M counts against the 2024 salary cap.


    all this is predicatd on th idea that management is going to get another Qb soon. a wolrd changer is unlikely at spot 26. So if you are getting a project Qb why wouldn’t you offer at least two years for sure to your playoff Qb? Its going to take you more than that to develop ayn new one anyway. Bakerr seems open to both a discount and incentives. Not seeing tht sense of taking that cap hit unless you have a guy waiitng in the wings which we don’t

    Trask? He is non facotr. even if you are a fan of his – his contract is up in a year too. Lets give the fantasy of the Trask fans that he starts and balls out. Think he’s going to give any loyalty points to the team that had him sit for three yesars and held back his career?

  18. Nprbuc Says:

    Sign him

  19. Lord Cornelius Says:

    It’s definitely an interesting contract situation. He’s in his prime at 28. And QB’s can play till their 40, although Mayfield would have to alter his style a bit to do that lol. If we let him go it’d be one of the craziest head scratching moves in franchise history.

    The difference between Daniel Jones / Baker is Jones was drafted by the team that extended him, and the Giants have been a horrible organization lol. I remember being like “wtf” when I saw that deal…

    IMO he should be somewhere between Geno and JOnes leaning towards Geno. We have the leverage of the tag.

    So he could take the tag and then have a bad year and lose out on tons of $$, vs taking like $30m/year average for 3 years and getting double the $$ guarenteed. That’s why I am feeling a number slightly under the tag will be it

  20. Lord Cornelius Says:

    My prediction = 3 years $100M, $50M guaranteed. With language on incentives and an ability for the team to get out without huge cap hits in year 3 if years 1-2 go horrible

  21. Ethan Says:

    Tony marks Says: “This is Baker’s THIRD YEAR doing about the same stats.”

    How can that be given that last year he was the worst-rated QB in the NFL?

  22. Okiejim Says:

    Above all else Baker wants to win and for that reason alone, he will take a team friendly 3 year with a 4th year option for 80 million and 25 million signing bonus.

  23. WyomingJoe Says:

    Thank you Dr. Tony Marks for fleshing out the fact that Baker had two solid years BEFORE this season, and that his growth was upended by his shoulder injury in 2021 (btw, a complete labrum team and a fracture!) and the next year playing for the Panthers.

    Just a fun fact, Baker actually played 13.5 games in 2018 (his rookie season). He entered the Jet’s game (game 3) just before halftime with the Browns losing 14-0. Oh, he won that game for them!

    One more thing, I don’t think the Bucs would insult Baker by low-balling him, or or franchise tagging him. What kind of message would that send?

  24. WyomingJoe Says:

    Ethan: Wake up! Lol…

  25. Let's Go Bake Says:

    I am trying to understand. Baker played on a 1 year “Prove it” deal. He proved it! So why can’t he get paid what he is due? He’s better than all those middle tier QBs y’all keep mentioning, but not quite at top tier where quite a few QBs don’t belong anyway. One thing I know for sure, if he is disrespected by a “Team Friendly”, he will be gone. So keep up the 25-30 talks. You don’t want him anyway with that. I’d give him at least 4-5 year deal worth around 33-35 mil per and spread out about 85 mil guarantee. Just saying. You know Bake is sensitive about Loyalty.

  26. Buc1987 Says:

    Hilarious all you peeps that predict what Baker’s going to make…

    All the numbers thrown around…

    YOU don’t know what the deal will be like…just like me.

  27. BakerFan Says:

    Buc1987 Says:
    February 14th, 2024 at 12:28 pm
    Hilarious all you peeps that predict what Baker’s going to make…

    All the numbers thrown around…

    YOU don’t know what the deal will be like…just like me.

    EXACTLY…. all these fake GM’s are clueless

  28. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “YOU don’t know what the deal will be like…just like me.”

    Agree but I like making a prediction lol. I work in Finance too so the contract / market setting stuff interests me

  29. Ethan Says:

    WyomingJoe Says: “Thank you Dr. Tony Marks for fleshing out the fact that Baker had two solid years BEFORE this season”


    The year “BEFORE this season” was 2022.

    In 2022, Baker had a QBR of 26.3 – the absolute worst in the NFL.

    You and Tony Baky should see a psychiatrist about your man-crush on Bakey.

  30. PewterPride Says:

    Daniel Jones isn’t worth Daniel Jones money, by trying to keep up with the Jones it was a horrible decision by the Giants, total desperation move for a less than average QB, that alone set the Giants organization back many years.

    Don’t get desperate and throw big money at Bake or get in a ridiculous bidding war just so you have a QB.
    I believe in JL and Greenburg as they’re probably the smartest GM and GM assistant in the NFL and know exactly what they’re doing.
    If Baker signs a huge deal with another team the Bucs have enough options to replace him but I think he loves the Tampa area and the Bucs organization enough to perhaps take a team friendly deal, plus he’s about to have his first child and that’s enough pressure and excitement to not want to keep moving his family around every other year,

    Maybe sign his wife first lol,
    Happy wife happy life

  31. Allbuccedup Says:

    The other teams in the NFC south are trying to improve but we are looking to stay the same am I missing something?

  32. DBS Says:

    Look at robbie talking about man crushes. Yes you already did it and call him the same name. Plus Bakey.

  33. Esteban85 Says:

    Sign Mike and Baker will sign a lesser deal to follow. Sign the hall of famer first. When have we ever had a chance to resign a hall of fame wide receiver?

  34. Tony marks Says:

    Ethan Says:

    How can that be given that last year he was the worst-rated QB in the NFL?

    Name me one Qb that has done even half well in North Carolina in the last decade besides Cam Newton

    There goes your answer.

  35. Tony marks Says:

    Ethan Says:

    The year “BEFORE this season” was 2022.

    In 2022, Baker had a QBR of 26.3 – the absolute worst in the NFL.”

    Your local High school probably has remedial english reading classes. You shoudl sign up immediately. No one said anything about three years in a row.

    This is where you haters show yourselves to be total clowns. If you claim to know enough abut a QB to criticize him you shoudl at least know a little of his history . The minute I refreenced his rookie year anyone with intelligence would know that was 2018 and I was not referencing three straight years until n0w since its 2024

    Might want to ask about a maths class too.

  36. Ethan Says:

    Tony Marks Says: “No one said anything about three years in a row.”

    Au con·traire. Your sidekick WyomingJoe wrote: “Baker had two solid years BEFORE this season.” 2 years before this season + this 1 season = 3 seasons. LOL. And you accuse others of lacking reading comprehension. Smarten up, lassie.

  37. BakerBucs Says:

    This site is to repetitious u guys are blinders type commentary plz post some more thought out of the box BORING

  38. Tony marks Says:

    Ethan Says:
    February 14th, 2024 at 3:21 pm
    Tony Marks Says: “No one said anything about three years in a row.”

    Au con·traire. Your sidekick WyomingJoe wrote: “Baker had two solid years BEFORE this season.”

    Wow. You are a nitwit. Yes there were two similar seasons before he was injured. 2018 and 2020

    Both are before 2023 with no claim they were together

    If you are still in school ask for a personal tutor.

  39. Lakeland Steve Says:

    Mayfield still has a lot to prove. Most people think that Mayfield while good is not good enough to take the Bucs to the promised land. Hopefully the Bucs can give him a decent contract with some huge incentives if he wins a Super Bowl with the Bucs. I think he will have another good year statistically unless he gets injured.

  40. Bucsqb12 Says:

    Go for Cousins … he’s a better thrower and will be cheaper because he wants to win a championship. This team is built weird and needs to win now to maximize the talent / money. Baker is way too up and down to get us another superbowl those 10 INTs could have very easily been 15-18 if the DB could catch. If it wasn’t for a putrid division , we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. We’d have a new HC and arguing about which QB we should go get in the draft. But here we are … it’s a Bucs life!

  41. ExBrownsFan Says:

    I keep saying it, 4 years at 160 million 100 million guaranteed. That’s the big contract on paper in line with other QBs like Carr Jones Prescott and Stafford that Bakers agent will need for his client but really it’s a 3-year commitment at 33 million+ in a tax friendly state. The fourth year is an out or restructure year for the Bucs and allows the team to spread money out through structuring and keep the next 3-year cap hits low enough to sign other players. Add some commercials that come along from a team committing to a QB and Baker will be more than satisfied. Again quarterback isn’t the issue, it’s the run game and defense where we will definitely regress if action isn’t taken and improvements aren’t made.

  42. Let's Go Bake Says:

    Tax Friendly state is cool, but I think that is only for home games…still gotta pay the away game taxes for those other tax states. And yes, predicting the future contract is fun although not a GM. But if you look at the history of the QB contracts…it’s not that hard to get close. The prices are always increasing at a predictable rate. I still predict that if you offer Bake 20 anything, he will take it as a sign of disrespect and will then test free agency. This I do know

  43. Jeremy Goins Says:

    Kinda tired of this subject. Just get it done, he stays or he goes. To me Winfield, Wirfs and McLaughlin are big priorities along with Lavonte David. Tampa is a perfect city, lots of people move here for that reason.

  44. Oneilbuc Says:

    Allbuc. You are right bro I got a feeling we will be left behind if we keep bringing back average players and that includes Baker Mayfield.

  45. Student of the Game Says:

    Oneilbuc, Bucsqb12, Ethan, tell me how many QBs had top 10-15 stats passing with the no running game? Everyone in the stadium and TV knew 2nd and 3rd was a pass. You and everyone that thinks like you are delusional. Average guys don’t win the Heisman. Average guys don’t win in Cleveland. Want to lose the South division next year? Keep advocating dumping Mayfield and let Atlanta grab him. Thankfully none of you have anything to do with personnel decisions.

  46. Let's Go Bake Says:

    Student of the Game….Agreed 100%

  47. Oneilbuc Says:

    Student. It’s been a lot of hesiman trophy winners that end up being back up quarterbacks . Baker Mayfield is average quarterback and I get you are a fan of Baker but the bucs will not win a superbowl with Baker Mayfield next year. His season from last year was a average at best. He’s on his 4th team in 6 years. The only way to win a superbowl with Baker Mayfield is to have the 02 bucs defense and a good running game. Baker Mayfield had the best o line in Cleveland and a good running game the year they made the playoffs. As a real bucs fan I know we will be left behind if they give Baker Mayfield franchise money. I already know the excuses for next year it’s Todd Bowles fault, it’s his first year in a new offense, the o line ain’t blocking good enough. The running game sucks that’s why Baker Mayfield is playing bad lol 🤣 watch and see!!

  48. Oneilbuc Says:

    Baker Mayfield is Garden Michew 2.0 that’s who Baker is rather you want to admit or not. You can win some games and maybe a division if it’s a bad division but you ain’t going to the superbowl with that just ask the Titans with Ryan Tanahill and they actually made it to the AFC championship something Baker has never done and he had better teams.

  49. Dave Pear Says:

    Oneilbuc, you really should seek out employment on Jason Licht’s staff. I mean, he needs you. Your quarterback savvy is unmatched. Complaining about hiring Tom Brady and winning a Super Bowl, and now complaining about Mayfield, who Licht got for a ham sandwich and a slice of frozen pizza, who had the Bucs “this close” to the NFC championship game.

    Yes, by all means, send Jason your list of preferred candidates. I’m sure it will be a totally new and illuminating experience for Jason.