Baker Mayfied slammed for ‘posing’ as Bucs starting quarterback

Kyle Trask was also thrown under the bus by an NFL writer who thinks the Bucs should tank for Caleb Williams in 2023.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offseason Workout
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offseason Workout / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

One of the most pressing questions surrounding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason is what the deal is at quarterback.

Go ahead and read that in Jerry Seinfeld voice, because it’s a situation that has become pure comedy for most of the national media.

When Tom Brady retired back in February, it forced the Bucs to launch themselves into a future everyone knew was coming. Despite how unprepared the team was to handle the fallout of Brady finally hanging it up, the front office put together a pretty solid succession plan that involved signing Baker Mayfield to compete with Kyle Trask for the starting role.

This is where the comedy comes in, as the situation has been framed as one in which Mayfield or Trask is replacing Brady. Specifically, Baker has drawn the ire of pundits who have theatrically shot milk out of their nose at the optics of him succeeding Brady.

Let’s be perfectly clear: Baker Mayfield is not here to replace Tom Brady. He’s here to usher through a transitional period that he may or may not end up being a long term part of.

Why involve logic when it’s easier to grasp at the lowest hanging fruit and devour it, though?

Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask ripped as not legitimate starters

Bleacher Report recently listed the top teams that should tank for Caleb Williams and the Buccaneers were unsurprisingly on the list. That’s not the takeaway though; everyone and their grandmother has used the Bucs as filler when putting together these sorts of pieces.

What stands out is the fact that Baker Mayfield gets absolutely wrecked as part of the rationale for why Tampa Bay needs to tank this season for a high draft pick.

“Tampa Bay currently has lottery tickets posing as quarterbacks,” Sobleski writes. ”An actual draft investment is a far more rational approach to addressing the position than hoping Mayfield will recapture his earlier magic (or Trask outperforms his draft status).”

Joe Pesci in Goodfellas got off lighter than that.

This is where the nuance of Baker in Tampa Bay gets lost in everyone trying too hard to make the situation something it isn’t. At the very least, the Bucs are paying Baker a $4 million consulting fee to see if Kyle Trask can lead the team. If Trask beats Baker in training camp, then the potential long term benefit of finding a future franchise quarterback far outweighs the short term optics.

More realistically, Baker wins the starting role and uses this season to attempt to revive his career. His redemption arc matches that of the Buccaneers, who are similarly out to prove the doubters wrong. Dave Canales turned Geno Smith into a $75 million quarterback in Seattle and Baker is hoping for something similar.

Whether that actually happens is yet to be seen, but the idea that the Bucs best option is to tank for a top quarterback prospect is wildly misguided. There’s a chance they end up in that position anyway, but it’s unfair to bury Baker and the rest of the team without seeing what they’re capable of first.

dark. Next. 3 Bucs who could be cut before playing a snap. 3 Bucs players who could get cut before playing a snap