Buccaneers fans sure have grown in their confidence to find a quarterback after finding Tom Brady. Maybe this franchise shouldn’t turn down options that are better than their backups.
A team like the Buccaneers with one genuinely-great franchise quarterback sure has changed its tune at the position over the last few years.
The fanbase has seemingly hit itself in the head enough times for some to believe that Blaine Gabbert is actually a viable future option or that Kyle Trask is a genuine successor to Brady after decades of seeing similar situations go poorly.
Both of these seem like shaky prospects, yet the fans eat ideas like this up. Who wouldn’t? Propaganda is supposed to be easy to consume by design.
In fact, some within the Buccaneers fanbase are so bought in to these cheap parlor tricks that they shout down the idea of Tampa being able to find a quarterback with a better ceiling or track record than any quarterback on the roster other than Tom Brady.
Baker Mayfield has been a hot-button issue this offseason across the NFL. The situation between him and the Browns is a murky one, but the one thing that we can be sure of is the idea that he will not play another snap for that team.
How the Browns get rid of him is one thing, but we don’t see Mayfield staying on that team through the regular season as a likely contingency, and we aren’t the only ones.
With Mayfield set to depart the Browns, there are only a handful of logical landing spots for one of the integral parts of this Cleveland turnaround, and Tampa stands above the other ones.
Carolina and Seattle are train wrecks with no path to being relevant anytime soon. Mike Tanier of Football Outsiders likely takes this into account as well as the uncertainty in Tampa’s quarterback future to predict a Mayfield arrival in Tampa in August.
This is not bizarre or ground-breaking.
Let’s look at who Baker would be competing against and why the Bucs would see an investment of a couple million dollars in Mayfield as a no-brainer.
Starting off with Ryan Griffin, the comparison gets rather mean quickly. Griffin is essentially playing a different sport than Mayfield.
Mayfield is younger, has a better arm and athleticism, and actually has a future in the NFL as quarterback that sees the field during NFL games.
There is quite literally no comparable traits between the two.
Moving on up, Kyle Trask is not losing a roster spot to Mayfield. The Bucs just invested in Trask to get a shot to be the next guy, and Mayfield being on the roster doesn’t change that.
However, to be fair to both, Mayfield is still the better player in every quantifiable category. College career (which isn’t really anything to judge), athleticism, traits, etc.
You don’t like Mayfield’s attitude? Get over it. Winning is the only thing that matters. If Trask fans really do like his potential, a camp battle against Mayfield shouldn’t worry anyone.
Finally, we come to Blaine Gabbert. Several things to address here.
First, Gabbert is not a starter in the NFL, isn’t going to be, and doesn’t deserve a chance to be one. He is a career backup and should stay one. Gabbert isn’t even the best backup quarterback in the league by a long shot, and it is time to get that idiotic notion out of the conversation.
Baker is a better player and has a better future in the NFL than Gabbert.
“But what about what Gabbert brings for Brady on game day!!” the fans shout.
There is nothing on the planet that will ever make this sentence make sense.
So, Tom Brady, one of the richest and smartest athletes in the world playing in a league that has more money and technology than some small countries, comes off the field, ignores all the resources at his disposal, and needs to go to a career backup to see where the drive stalled?
Get out of the way quarterback coaches, offensive coordinators, Microsoft surfaces, and the bevy of other information at my fingertips, I need Blaine Gabbert to keep this bus rolling!
Tom Brady really needs this? The Bucs can’t hire a quarterback coach, a former player, or literally anyone else on the planet to do what Gabbert does? I think not. The job is quite literally one of the easiest to replace on the planet, as evidenced by the fact that Brady was able to win plenty of Super Bowls with different backup quarterbacks. It literally doesn’t matter.
So, if Baker is better than Gabbert and can talk into a headset and read coverages and talk through an offense, there is genuinely no reason for the Bucs to keep any of their current backups over Baker.
It’s a tough pill to swallow knowing that the rest of the world sees the fit rather than Buccaneers fans, but that doesn’t make it any less true.
None of this is to say that the deal happens in the end, but pretending that it is completely off the table is asinine and ignores a very rational thought-process of a team that just wants to get better and compete in a world after Tom Brady.
The coming months are going to be very fun.
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