Baker Mayfield supposedly turned down an offer from a top AFC contender in order to sign a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason.
As if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers deal with Baker Mayfield could get any sweeter, along comes a little tidbit that makes it even better.
Mayfield signed a one-year deal with the Bucs when free agency at the beginning of March, and everything we’ve learned about it keeps upping the ante. It’s a deal that brings in competition for Kyle Trask, but also presents a potential opportunity for the Bucs to be real contenders in the NFC South this season.
Take a look at the other quarterback situations in the division and try to argue that the Bucs don’t have a shot. Derek Carr was lauded as the best quarterback in the NFC South but that wasn’t the compliment everyone thought it was when they gave it. Carolina has the No. 1 pick, but the best years of their quarterback are in the future. Atlanta has Desmond Ridder and hopes of getting Lamar Jackson — that’s it.
Baker isn’t Tom Brady, but he’ll be the first one to tell you that’s not what he’s trying to do. With a coordinator who helped revive Geno Smith’s career last season and an offense full of weapons he’s never had before, Mayfield is in a position to potentially get back to being the guy the Cleveland Browns thought they drafted back in 2018.
The future is brighter than most want to give it credit for because that’s harder than tossing out low-hanging jokes. It was easy to troll the Bucs signing Baker, but another team tried to get him first and it should go a long way in showing how much Tampa Bay nailed its deal with him.
Baker Mayfield turned down an offer from a top AFC team to sign with Bucs
According to JoeBucsFan, the Baltimore Ravens allegedly tried to sign Baker Mayfield before he ultimately agreed to a deal with Tampa Bay.
If the Ravens tried to sign Baker, then that conversation would have happened around March 12th when the tampering period began. Lamar Jackson supposedly submitted a trade request to the Ravens on March 2nd, which doesn’t take a detective to connect the dots between that move and Baltimore trying to bring in Baker.
Baltimore probably wasn’t trying to replace Lamar with Baker but he was clearly part of their plan to leverage the future. If they had signed him, that would have given the Ravens a suitable backup quarterback in case Lamar gets hurt again, or it suggests they’d have been comfortable rolling with him as a replacement for next season as the starter.
Either way, it’s a pretty big endorsement of Baker and should make the Bucs feel even better about signing him.
Per JBF, the difference ended up being Mayfield’s desire to seriously compete for a starting job.
"Mayfield’s focus at the time of the Ravens’ offer was on a starting opportunity. When he passed on the Ravens job, it appeared Jackson would return for his sixth season in Baltimore to build on his 45-16 record as a starter"
Baker still needs to earn the starting role in Tampa Bay but he won’t have to beat out Lamar Jackson to get it. Instead, he’ll challenge Kyle Trask for the starting job and in the process will help tell the Bucs all they need to know about whether or not Trask is part of their future.
If Baker beats him, then the Bucs know Trask isn’t their guy; if Trask wins the starting role then Tampa Bay has a full season to see if he’s their future under center or if that guy still needs to be found.
It’s a win-win for Tampa Bay, and hearing this report about the Ravens having interest only makes the deal sweeter.