Could Winning In 2024 Be A Double-Edged Sword?

June 20th, 2024

Watching quarterback salaries?

The way the NFL is shaking out, it sure seems like a path is being cleared for Bucs quarterback Baker Mayfield to make rock star money in the near future.

The buzz among the NFL is how Trevor Lawrence just inked a five-year deal where if he sees the end of the contract with the Jags, could average about $55 million a year. Lawrence has one playoff win on his resume. He’s not the only one who is making premium loot for meh results.

* Lamar Jackson last year signed a five-year deal where he could average $52 million a year. He has two playoff wins (same as Mayfield).

* Last year Daniel Jones signed a four-year contract where he could average $40 million a year. He has one playoff win.

* Deshaun Watson is in the middle of a five-year deal where he averages $46 million. He has one playoff win to his name.

* Kirk Cousins signed a four-year deal with the Dixie Chicks this spring where if he plays all four years under the contract would average $45 million a year. He’ll at least get $100 million for two seasons of work. He has one playoff win.

Mayfield, if he plays his full three seasons under his contract, could average $33 million a year. Mayfield has two playoff wins to his resume (and fewer playoff losses than Jackson).

So Joe is wondering if Mayfield leads the Bucs to at least a playoff win or two (or more) this coming winter, does Mayfield’s agent pull a Carl Spackler in “Caddyshack” and say to Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht, “Hey! Licht, hey! How about a little something, you know, for the effort?”

Quarterback salaries are starting to get so out of hand, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network noted that there is chatter among owners of the NFL about instituting a Larry Bird Rule, like in the non-basketball association where stars have their own salary cap.

You cannot win without a quarterback. It’s a quarterback league. So if Mayfield could guide the Bucs to a win or two in the playoffs (or more) Mayfield would have the Bucs over a barrel.

51 Responses to “Could Winning In 2024 Be A Double-Edged Sword?”

  1. MRWright88 Says:

    That’d be a great problem to have! Cross that bridge when we get there.

  2. Mark A Swygert Says:

    This is easy for me to say since it’s not my money, but isn’t winning the goal? If Mayfield has us “over a barrel” because he’s leading the team to post-season wins I don’t see how that is a problem. More power to him. Money is power after all.

  3. Pickgrin Says:

    “if Mayfield could guide the Bucs to a win or two in the playoffs (or more) Mayfield would have the Bucs over a barrel.”

    Only if he holds out and claims he won’t play without a bigger deal. Which I don’t see happening after just 1 year. Even then – the Bucs would hold the cards with him being under contract.

    If Baker has 2 more good years in a row – I could see the Bucs redoing the deal in year 3 with an extension and a raise….

    $30M per year + incentives ain’t chump change – Baker said so himself – $60M guaranteed over 2 years is ‘life changing money’ no matter how you want to look at it.

    I believe Mayfield understands the importance of winning – and the team having enough $ to surround him with talent in order to try and win Super Bowls.

  4. Tim Says:

    “No Baker, there will be no money today. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness. So you’ll have that going for you, which is nice.” -Jason Licht

  5. View from 132 Says:

    If I’m watching Baker Mayfield make $50M a season I really hope the Bandits are back and I can move on from the NFL. That’s just stupid. It is all obscene levels of wealth for playing a game, and at some point it crosses into distasteful. NFL owners are playing with fire with these finances… multi billion dollar stadiums and billion dollar players is just out of touch and will have more gambling interest and less actual fans. That’s Goddell’s legacy.

  6. Razor Ramone Says:

    Gungala gunga ganunga.

  7. Lt. Dan Says:

    @Joe, be careful using the “rock star” description. Billy Idol and friends may take you to task.

  8. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Nah, we’ll just sign some other free agent QB and be just fine like with the last two. Let other teams break the bank on questionable QBs.

  9. Fred McNeil Says:

    To say we would be better off losing a few games to avoid paying Baker $50 mil a year defeats the purpose of having him here. I’ll worry about his salary next year. Bake has got to realize that if he pigs out on all the cap room he will have to give up on having a great team around him. Up to a point the same goes for Wirfs and Winfield and anybody else. Tom Brady got all those rings because he was willing to be reasonable about his salary.

  10. Allen Lofton Says:

    Joe, let’s take a deep breathe. Kirk Cousins has always been about the money, he doesn’t have the mindset of a Baker Mayfield.

    Baker was humbled for a couple of years before coming to the Bucs. When that happens a couple of things could play out – Fu%$k everyone or look at the bigger picture and yourself and do what Mayfield did. He thought it through, picked the Bucs as a solid organization with Superbowl players from a couple of years ago and along with some young talent.

    He understood building relationships with the players and coaches, along with his mindset is the path to greatness and championships.

    He understands taking a little less money shows a commitment to winning the Big One. ln the grand scheme, the money will come to fruition from the path chosen by Mayfield.

    The league is full of Cousins which is why so many fail to reach the Mountain top.

  11. Boss Says:

    ” if Mayfield could guide the Bucs to a win or two in the playoffs (or more) Mayfield would have the Bucs over a barrel.”


  12. KABucs Says:

    I agree with many above, that would be a wonderful problem to have. If we’re looking to have to pay Baker 40 to 50 million a year, that means he’s playing even better (top 10… maybe 5) and the Bucs are winning 12+ games a season in 2024 & 2025. I would love to have that problem. Keep in mind the cap keeps going up every year and it went up a lot last year. That will help. Everyone keeps saying, what looks expensive now is not all that expensive two -three years down the line. Seems to be very true. As long as the Glazers keep signing the checks.

    The negative… ticket prices won’t be stagnant… they will increase as well. 😟

  13. Ed Says:

    I agree with the idea that the money is wasted if a quarterback isn’t taking a team to a Super Bowl. In the past 10 years the SuperBowl winning quarterbacks were not overpriced, highest paid quarterbacks in the league.

    Pat Maholmes- 3 Superbowl wins
    Tom Brady- 4 Superbowl wins
    Matt Stafford, Nick Foles and Peyton Manning- 1 Superbowl win each

    At the time there were multiple quarterbacks making more money than these guys. The owners are idiots throwing their money around to the Trevor Lawrences, DeShaun Watson’s, Kirk Cousins, Russell Wilson’s havn’t even tasted a Super Bowl appearance in the past 10 years. Makes no sense.

    If you have the right supporting cast you can win SuperBowls with the likes of Jeff Hostetler, Mark Rypien, Kurt Warner, Trent Dilfer, Brad Johnson, Joe Flacco, Russell Wilson and Matt Stafford. At the time, none were the highest paid QB’s of that time. Winning Lombardi’s and playoff games should be the reward.

    Since QB is more important position on offense, salaries should be based on winning, not potential. Lawrence and Watson are just 2 examples of average quarterbacks being paid higher than winning quarterbacks.

  14. Bakerfan Says:

    Why does no one ask if Winfield regresses, that they paid him too much. In fact there is a high likelihood that he will. Offenses will make adjustments to go away from him plus he was playing for a contract last year.

    Time will tell for all these big money guys. Mayfield was under paid Winfield wasn’t. This is a QB league you are not going very far with a subpar QB. For Mayfield’s sake he gets a different agent next go around.

  15. heyjude Says:

    Jones, Watson, and Cousins are not really worth those big contracts yet. Especially Watson. In the past, Brady took pay cuts so the teams could get good players. If Baker does very well this season and we are in the playoffs again and/or win the Super Bowl – season ticket sales will go up and probably costs too. It will all work out.

  16. Dom Says:

    Lmao Bakerfan still salty his guy didn’t get the 5 year 40M-50M a year deal that he was so confident he would get. Baker should be praying everyday thanking Winfield. If it wasn’t for Winfield the Bucs lose to the Panthers, miss the playoffs, and Baker’s payday ends up being less than what he got

  17. Dude Says:


    Peyton Manning played in 4 SBs and won 2 of’em

    “Why does no one ask if Winfield regresses, that they paid him too much.”

    Winfield got paid for being who the media wants you to believe Mayfield is and if Baker were half as consistent as Tweeze he’d probably still be in Ohio, but we all know that isn’t the case.

    “This is a QB league you are not going very far with a subpar QB.”

    That’s why Mayfield was paid how he was lol

  18. Bucsfan Says:

    NFL owners cannot institute anything without the approval of the NFLPA membership to amend the CBA or getting it put in a new CBA. The current CBA will be in effect until 2030 , so the owners have no leverage to do anything unless they lock out the players , and that ain’t happening.

  19. Bucs4EverMore Says:

    Baker Continues To Lead and Play, Without Greed; Just Dedication. He Loves The Team and Lives To Play.

  20. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    It is what it is.

  21. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Licht takes car of his men. They will extend him or bring him a new contract that will be top notch at the moment and middle of the road after 2-3 years.

  22. Bakerfan Says:

    Dude and Boss get in a circle jerk and try to figure out on every article how they can work in how Mayfield is the problem. These two dweebs are pitiful

  23. Bakerfan Says:

    Add Dom in that circle jerk also. We will see on Winfield. If you get paid the best you should be the best. NFL all pro voters did not think Winfield was the best , just you butt kissers did. We will see

  24. BucU Says:

    The QB pay has gotten completely out of hand. Totally ridiculous.

  25. Buc4evr Says:

    Win the SB and I bet the Bucs will do something, otherwise Baker will have to try to make due with his paltry salary. Geez, this is getting ridiculous.

  26. Dude Says:

    “Add Dom in that circle jerk also. We will see on Winfield. If you get paid the best you should be the best. NFL all pro voters did not think Winfield was the best , just you butt kissers did. We will see”

    I get it now, you’ve had to follow 4 different teams the last 2 seasons to keep up with Baker, so you probably don’t know how good Antoine Winfield has been since he walked into the building.

    Also, you need > 2 people to form a circle lololol

  27. SlyPirate Says:

    I disagree with it’s a “QB’s league”.

    It’s a fairytale player agents want you to believe. Of the last 20 Super Bowls, only 3 QBs were homegrown. The others were free agents.

    I believe defense win championships. I’d rather have an affordable QB surrounded by a complete team, which is exactly how the Bucs have been winning.

    If you don’t have Mahomes don’t pay your QB more than Mahomes. Load up your team with talent.

  28. D-Rok Says:

    A separate QB cap is an intriguing concept.

  29. Bakerfan Says:

    Read the thread, Dom

  30. Beeej Says:

    Chiefs are the only team with one of those $50+ mil per year QB ‘s that was won a SB, and last year was dicey, as they have no receivers other than Kelsey

  31. Bakerfan Says:

    Again Dude Winfield is not All pro first team so he does not justified his salary of being highest paid. That is the logic of you Baker Haters.

  32. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Let’s actually see him get better first, because last year was not good enough. It was a total roller coaster.

    He has all he needs to succeed this year…almost any QB would be able to succeed with what Licht has built now.

    No excuses left for him. Can he play better? More reliable? We shall see. I’ll be rooting for him at the start of the season.

  33. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    If he regresses like one of the Joes suggested earlier this off season, then he should be traded next year.

  34. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    I get what you are saying about Winfield…and to a point, you are right. He still has to justify his paycheck. That is the risk of paying any player what they are apparently worth…will they get lazy once they get paid?

    That said, most fans and clearly the coaches and Jason Licht believe he is worth the pay.

    And about 70-80 percent of fans think Baker is worth getting what he is getting paid.

    What they make, they agreed to…and that makes it fair to them. Baker may turn out to regress…I hope not, but it is possible…but he also may finally meet his full potential.

    Clearly Bowles believes in him. Jason Licht does to a point as well…enough to build around him…though what he is building would be good for any replacements down the road if it comes to it.

    Regardless, Baker agreed to his contract. Did he take less so that the team could keep certain players? Likely. That would be a very unselfish thing to do…so props to him.

    If he becomes for us what Drew Brees became for the Saints, he’ll certainly deserve more money. But how much more is up to him and the team.

    As for Joe’s comment…Baker would not have the Bucs over a barrel. Teams know if their QB is tops, they are going to have to pay tops. If Baker were to hold out for a bigger deal next year (which I doubt he would do) then he is not the guy we all hope he is.

  35. Dude Says:

    “If he becomes for us what Drew Brees became for the Saints, he’ll certainly deserve more money. But how much more is up to him and the team.”

    This is wishful thinking, nothing Baker does outside of being an NFL QB is reminiscent of Drew Brees who is historically one of the most efficient QBs in the history of football. Bakers’ biggest hang up and slight his entire NFL career is his lack of consistency as a passer.

    It took for the Mayfield to get to the last year of his rookie deal to hire a damn throwing coach, while the Bradys’, Brees’, Mannings’ of the world kept a throwing coach their entire careers

  36. catcard202 Says:

    With the escalation of QB1 salaries being as they are…If I’m running a FO, I’d have the scouting department HEAVILY focused on evaluating soon-to-be UFA NFL BU & draft eligible QB’s….While targeting “prove it deal” guys like Baker (as needed), while also being willing to spend draft capital on fresh rookie deal QB’s – every year – if needed.

    As the benefits of hitting pay dirt with a QB on a rookie deal definitely outweigh the Pros of overpaying for mediocre QB1 play. (You can build a deep veteran 53 man roster around that rookie contract QB with the extra $35M+/yr not spent on a Daniel Jones like deal!)

    Just because the market rate for 2nd/3rd contract QB1’s is crazy stupid coin does not mean a franchise has to be suckered into believing they can’t win without signing a guy to that kind of deal.

  37. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    Gunga lagunga. On your deathbed you will receive total consciousness.

    So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice

  38. Defense Rules Says:

    I’m convinced that in the NFL (probably in every professional sport for that matter) there are 2 very different seasons: the regular season and the playoffs. The world is full of NFL QBs who’ve done well in the regular season, then fizzled when they hit the playoffs.

    Lamar Jackson is 1 of those IMO. His regular season record is an outstanding 58-19. His average completion percentage over his 6-year career is 64.5% and he’s thrown for an average of 2,648 yards & 21 TDs per season. He’s made the playoffs in 4 of those 6 years, and sports a 2-4 record.

    Baker Mayfield came into the league in the same year (2018). His regular season record is a much less impressive 40-46. His average completion percentage over his 6-year career (with 4 different teams) is 61.9% and he’s thrown for an average of 3,389 yards & 22 TDs per season. He’s made the playoffs in 2 of those 6 years, and sports a 2-2 record.

    Looking JUST at those playoff stats, one would probably wonder why Lamar is making $52 mil a year and Baker’s making a paltry $33 mil a year. Heck over 6 years, Baker’s thrown for a lot more yards, a tad more TDs, and sports a better playoff record. Pure speculation on my part I admit, but I think that it’s because Lamar, in relationship to HIS team, has done much better in the regular season. The Ravens do very well against a lot of teams, but certain teams have them befuddled year-after-year (Browns, Steelers, Bengals … their division rivals … come to mind, as well as the Chiefs, Dolphins & Bills). And oh ya, they continually fold in the playoff season.

  39. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    Check me if I’m wrong but if I kill all the golfers, they’re going to lock me up and throw away the key.

  40. StickinUp4Centers Says:

    “Rock Star money”

    He already has. Just signed a contract for 3 years $100 mil. When I look up Eddie Van Halen’s net worth it comes up as $100 mil. Rock stars would prefer middle of the road QB money to what they make.

  41. Dude Says:

    Defense Rules

    Regular season wins are how you punch your ticket to the postseason. In any event I’d want the QB who’s been there every season except for 1 since 2018 over the guy who’s just been twice in the same time frame.

  42. HC Grover Says:

    We should tank a few games and lose to avoid this problem no doubt.

  43. JustVisiting Says:

    You can’t win without a quarterback, but you can’t lose with a Caddyshack reference!

  44. Booger Says:

    “Bucs4EverMore” – “Continues To Play WITHOUT Greed?” WHAT!? You are living in some Baker Fantasyland. Let me say this again, HE took what HE could get. PERIOD. End of Story. And, IF he hadn’t been SO GREEDY in the first place, in Cleveland, then he could’ve signed an extension with there with THEM. But, HE refused and ‘thought’ (or assumed) that HE was next inline, and entitled to reset the QB market. Problem being ONLY HIM, his agent, and a handful of “Baker-LOVERS” agreed. Cleveland and most everyone else (unbiased and with half a brain), knew HE wasn’t. It was literally, discussed DAILY on Dan Patrick every single morning. Dan would always say, why not just take (at the time) $25MIL or so… Why does EVERYONE always have to think they are the next guy up going to reset the market, etc.? The main reason I remember this is because I AGREED with it 💯 and had been saying it even before Dan! Because, it had really been bothering me too, about some of these guys, & with just how insane all of these QB contracts have been getting. And, it’s even getting worse, because NOW, even the WR’s are getting in on it! But again, Baker is absolutely not taking ANY less money just outta the goodness of HIS heart. PLEASE.

  45. Booger Says:

    But, then Watson became an option for them, so they said see ya later, Baker. Not saying that it has turned-out great for them, but that is just what happened. At the time, both Dak & Baker were trying to reset the market… Dallas franchised Dak TWICE. Baker was shipped OUT. He expected or demanded to reset the market and Cleveland wasn’t doing it. Then, they give Watson (who WAS a better QB at the time, MUCH better, with a higher ceiling) that STUPID ‘fully guaranteed’ contract p’ing off every FO.

  46. SlyPirate Says:

    Booger Says:
    “(Baker) took what HE could get.”

    I agree with this 100%. In fact, I think the Bucs could have gone lower. They were only competing with themselves. The Pats and Vikings may have kicked the tires, but no one was giving a journeyman QB $1 more than the Bucs offer. Don’t forget: Baker’s dad and brother stole at least $10M of his money. He needed a payday.

    Now … Joe is right. Baker’s market changes dramatically if he repeats his number, wins the division, and wins 1-2 playoff games.

    If he does repeat 2023 AND plays out his contract, Licht is a super genius.

  47. Defense Rules Says:

    Dude … Question becomes ‘Could Lamar have gotten the Browns, Panthers & Rams to the playoffs if he’d been their QB instead of Baker?’

    My opinion? Not on your life. John Harbaugh has been HC of the Ravens since 2008 (16 years is pretty good longevity in the NFL). Over those years, he’s had several really really DCs, and their average defensive ranking (Points Allowed) over all those years is #7. Their average offensive ranking (Points Scored) over all those years is #13. Most folks would say that the Ravens (like the Bucs) are best known for their defenses.

    Lamar has certainly improved their offense since he’s been there (their average offensive ranking is #10 in his 6 years), but it’s an offense built around his specific talents. Teams like the Browns & Panthers have been meh for awhile now offensively, and Lamar couldn’t magically lift them to SB contenders with his talents. I seriously doubt that he would’ve had any better luck than Baker if he’d been the Browns & Panthers QB.

  48. SenileSenior Says:

    Besides making $$$ I believe Baker is truly about winning the big one.

    Go Bucs!!!

  49. BakerFan Says:

    Bonzai….. You get what I am saying exactly…. These same Haters on Mayfield will look away and whistle if Winfield regresses…. They will not hold him to the same standard that they will with Mayfield. Hell, Licht made him the highest paid safety in the league, so if you are going to be the head man, you better play like the head man. That means 1st Team All Pro.

    They will point to 2 games and say Winfield won them, but will never say that Mayfield won any games and just dismiss everything that happens during a game. They are HATERS to the core and Hypocrites also. They would rather the Bucs lose and Mayfield suck than Mayfield have a good game and Win.

  50. Shane Callahan Says:

    If the Bucs are that blessed, Baker still wouldn’t do it.

  51. Debbie⁴ Says:

    Perhaps Baker Mayfield wants a better Oline, so he is willing to take less so he can have better protection. There are some quarterbacks who want to get the Lombardi or less hits, more than a few extra millions. But then, less hits equate to better outcomes.