The first Baker Mayfield press conference the Tampa Bay Buccaneers held already gave fans a moment that will make them want to run through a wall.
It’s official, Baker Mayfield is a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The former No. 1 overall pick was introduced by the team on Monday, and is already winning over the hearts of fans. Mayfield has never been one to shy away from wearing honesty on his sleeves — even if it’s come back to bite him in the past — and that was on full display as he made his first remarks since joining the team.
Mayfield joined the Bucs on a $4 million deal that could be worth as much as $8.5 million if all goes well. He’s only guaranteed the first portion of the contract, with the rest coming in incentives that are tied to performance and things like getting the Bucs to the playoffs.
That’s the best case, but the flip side of that coin isn’t as bad as some might have made it out to be.
If Mayfield is a failure, it would mean one of two things: he lost the starting job in training camp to Kyle Trask or he beat Trask and flamed out during the regular season.
Either of those outcomes is optimal, as it provides the Bucs with much-needed clarity about who their quarterback will be moving forward. If Trask loses the job in camp, then the Bucs know he’s not the guy they need and can proceed accordingly, and vice versa. If Baker wins the job but doesn’t improve the team in the regular season, then the Bucs know they don’t have their quarterback of the future on the roster right now but likely will have a high draft pick to potentially find him.
Win-win, and all at the potentially cheap price of $4 million.
Nobody is approaching this rooting for failure, though. As much as the Mayfield signing was trolled by Twitter Comedians, the last laugh could be had by the Bucs if Dava Canales can do for Baker what he did for Geno Smith in Seattle last season.
If nothing else, the experience will be entertaining and Baker is already off to a hot start in that department.
Baker Mayfield press conference will have Bucs fans ready to run through a wall
One thing that stood out from Mayfield’s introductory press conference, was the specifics of why he decided to sign with the Bucs. It’s unclear where he might have had other offers around the league, but Mayfield made it clear that he decided to come to Tampa Bay, not for the money but because he thought it provided him with the best chance to win now.
“It was important for me to be in a place that’s stable, and knows how to win and do it properly,” Mayfield said. “I’ve gotten to see things in my journey that’s not exactly how I drew it up but it’s helped along the way and especially to make a decision like this.”
That’s a lot of setup for the payoff quote, which should excite Bucs fans this early on in the process of having Baker in the quarterback room.
“I wanted to go someplace where we can win right away,” Mayfield said. “This is that place.”\
Check out the full video below:
Mayfield is joining an offense with a first-year coordinator who isn’t looking to squander his big break, a second-year running back who has a chance to prove himself as an RB1, and both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin as his top two receiving targets.
The Bucs still have a lot of work to do before they’re considered Super Bowl contenders, but Baker isn’t wrong about his assessment that the team can win now and it’s abundantly clear the team isn’t settling for the expectation everyone has for them in the post-Tom Brady era.