It appears the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a plan for finding a quarterback in free agency as two NFL insiders reveal who the team is targeting.
With NFL Free Agency just days away, and the legal tampering period even closer, now is the time for teams to begin locking in their plan of attack.
For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, finding a veteran quarterback to compete with Kyle Trask this offseason is a top priority. There are other areas of the roster that need to be addressed, but the Bucs are boxed into a tough salary cap situation that excludes them from being big players at the top of the quarterback pecking order on the open market.
That doesn’t, however, take them out of the running to sign someone.
Trask is the only quarterback under contract at the moment, and the Bucs need to fill out the room and the depth chart. Adding others to the quarterback room also means competition for Trask, who is expected to be the starter next season but will need to earn the right rather than have it handed to him.
Buccaneers expected to target Baker Mayfield in free agency
According to NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the Bucs have identified who they are viewing as a top target heading into free agency.
“When free agency begins, the Bucs are expected to target ex-Rams QB Baker Mayfield as a potential starting QB option,” Rapoport reported. “This could be competition for Kyle Trask, their former 2nd-round pick, who the team likes a lot as Tampa Bay plots life without Tom Brady.”
This lines up with what we’ve all been expecting the Bucs to do this offseason. Derek Carr, Aaron Rodgers, nor Jimmy Garoppolo were realistically walking through the door which meant the Bucs would be dealing in the mid-tier market at best.
Mayfield sits firmly in that tier and offers some decent upside as he attempts to revive his career.
“Buccaneers are looking for a veteran free agent QB at the right price,” Garafolo added. “They have a few guys they’ll check in on but Baker Mayfield could wind up making the most sense from a fit and financial standpoint.”
Expectations are that Trask will be the starter, which seems like the best thing for the team’s future. Mayfield won’t be the franchise guy of the future, but the team needs to find out of Trask can be. If he loses a quarterback battle in training camp, that goes a long way in telling the Bucs what it needs to know about him without putting taking the team out of a position to compete next season.
Whether Mayfield can help the Bucs make the playoffs is yet to be seen. However, it’s the first exciting, or at the very least interesting, development of Tampa Bay’s offseason.