Biggest impact on the Buccaneers from the Baker Mayfield trade
By Rob Leeds
The Buccaneers won’t have their hands full with Baker Mayfield and the Panthers during the season, but this could be the start of something different.
Baker Mayfield going to the Panthers did make that team better. Anytime that you can get off of Sam Darnold is a win for a team that already lives far out of contention, but this move is not going to move the needle for the Panthers against the Buccaneers or the Saints.
Carolina was already a long way from being relevant in the NFC South. The Panthers are likely going to be the third-best team in the division with the second or third-best quarterback and the third-best wide receiver corps.
The Buccaneers aren’t losing any sleep over this trade, but it could still have an impact on Tampa’s future and Baker’s.
The NFC South is no stranger to poaching players. Gerald McCoy to the Panthers. Jameis Winston to the Saints. Bradley Pinion to the Falcons. Russell Gage to the Buccaneers.
Even Gage alone shows us how teams make note of talent within their own division after seeing each other several times, and this usually makes it easier to propose a pairing down the road.
Not that anyone is going to jump out of their seats excited about the prospect, but this trade did make it all the more likely that Baker Mayfield could be in contention for Tampa’s quarterback job in 2023.
Mayfield is going to be a free agent at the end of this upcoming season and it doesn’t seem like he is going to be worth all that much. The newest quarterback in Carolina has the worst coach in the division and almost no help. It would almost be more surprising if he plays well in that terrible situation.
With the team losing and that impacting Baker’s play, he will likely reach the market as a cheaper option; something the Buccaneers won’t be able to overlook.
Blaine Gabbert and Kyle Trask look like the main guys that would be in contention for that job by that point, but having supreme faith that one of those two will actually looks like a starter is asinine.
The Bucs will likely want to draft a rookie and sign a veteran free agent to make sure the competition is fierce to find the next face of the franchise, and that should push their sights towards Mayfield to some degree.
It’s not the most exciting pairing, but again, it did just become all the more likely.
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