Buccaneers have easy decision to make with Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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The Buccaneers and Baker Mayfield make more sense on paper than most would think.

Buccaneers fans have a distinct inability to talk about and evaluate quarterbacks. From the years of justifying below-average quarterbacks to lamenting the signing of Tom Brady (yes, those Tweets are still up), we have rarely seen the fanbase evaluate players with any genuine level of rational or logical thought.

Heck, we are coming off an offseason where some people were in favor of seeing Blaine Gabbert or Kyle Trask under center with this roster.

Thank goodness Tom Brady is back, but we are still one year or one injury away from being right back in Purgatory.

In the name of thinking about the future, some fans and professional prognosticators have started floating Baker Mayfield’s name out as an option for the Buccaneers to target.

This was met with the normal level of all-caps and profanity that we have come to expect from Bucs fans on who should be in the quarterback room, and that will never stop surprising us.

What should the Buccaneers do?

Wait and sign him if he becomes a free agent.

Baker makes almost no sense for the Buccaneers and is next to impossible to bring in as a trade option. Giving up picks to lose all cap space and have to give up other options for a backup is asinine. But a change to that price tag changes the equation.

If the Browns do cut Baker, which is a likely outcome at this rate, he immediately becomes the best backup on the market.

The injuries last season and staying on the field absolutely hurt Baker’s stock, but pretending that he isn’t easily in the top-24 amongst starting quarterbacks ignores every ounce of data and analysis.

When quarterbacks like Daniel Jones and Sam Darnold have starting jobs, no one on the planet can say Baker doesn’t have the potential to start as well.

In this scenario, Baker would come on a cheap deal to replace Blaine Gabbert and sit behind Tom Brady. This gives Tampa another option to evaluate alongside Trask, provides a better immediate backup to Brady, and sacrifices nothing for plenty of upside.

Mayfield takes a lot of heat for an adversarial relationship with the media and on the heels of a bad season marred by injuries, but the Bucs have proven that they don’t care about personality and only care about having every possible chance at being good after Brady.

Signing Baker hedges those bets slightly and does nothing to hurt Super Bowl hopes in 2022.

There are worse moves that the Bucs have made. Singing a mediocre quarterback to be a backup with upside is far from preposterous, even if that quarterback doesn’t say what you like in press conferences.

The play is there. Mayfield is wildly better than Gabbert or Trask and pretending that he isn’t is too biased to argue with.

The deal is extremely unlikely to actually happen, but arguing the Bucs should stay away if the availability is there is wrong.

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