Amid rumors that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are interested in Baker Mayfield, three more potential free agent targets have emerged.
With NFL Free Agency right around the corner, dust is starting to get kicked up as the winds of the rumor mill begin to pick up.
One key area the Tampa Bay Buccaneers need to address is quarterback, where Kyle Trask is the only player under contract at the moment. That will change, as will his chances of becoming the starting quarterback once he gets some competition in the room.
The Bucs need to determine if Trask is the guy to invest in for the future, and there’s only one way to find out if he has what it takes. Simply handing him the starting role isn’t it, rather forcing him to earn it in training camp is the first proper step in seeing where he’s at in his development.
Whoever comes in to compete for the starting job will likely come out of this year’s free agency pool, although the Bucs have been priced out of some of the upper-tier options. Thanks to the bill for the Tom Brady years coming due this offseason, Tampa Bay doesn’t have the wiggle room other teams do to go after the Derek Carr’s and Jimmy Garoppolo’s of the world, but that doesn’t mean they’ll end up with a bad option.
Baker Mayfield has reportedly emerged as a top target for the Buccaneers this offseason, but the plan doesn’t begin and end with him.
Buccaneers targeting three more quarterbacks in addition to Baker Mayfield
According to NFL insider Rick Stroud, three more potential targets have emerged to join Mayfield in Tampa Bay’s free agency plans.
“Bucs have an interest in free agents Baker Mayfield of the Rams, Jacoby Brissett of the Browns, and even Blaine Gabbert, who backed up Brady in Tampa Bay,” Stroud reported. “Drew Lock would seem a good fit from Seattle but there will be a big push for Mayfield.”
The push for Mayfield makes sense and could end up being a sneaky sleeper signing if all goes well. Dave Canales revived Geno Smith’s career in his first season not coaching Russell Wilson, and there’s hope in Tampa Bay that he can do the same for whoever his quarterback is this season.
Mayfield looking at what happened to Geno and wanting that for himself seems like a win-win for all involved.
Jacoby Brissett has long been linked to the Bucs as well and would be a similarly great option. Brissett approaches his work with the workmanlike attitude that Todd Bowles does, and it could be a natural fit in getting the right culture installed as the team transitions into a new era.
Blaine Gabbert is the least interesting of all the options because he represents the Bucs running back the exact same quarterback room as last year, except without Brady. That’s where Drew Lock seemingly has an edge on him, as he worked with Canales last season in Seattle and could serve as a tutor to the offense — and Trask — as well as developing the second act of his career as a top backup.
Things looked bleak in the immediate aftermath of Brady retiring, and there’s still a ton of work that needs to be done to get the team in shape. But everything’s starting to look up as free agency begins, and that’s a great sign for the future.