Baker Mayfield sends a crystal clear message about Tristan Wirfs' holdout

The Buccaneers quarterback isn't being shy about how he feels the situation should go.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Green Bay Packers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Green Bay Packers / Todd Rosenberg/GettyImages

It's been a busy and expensive offseason for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the work isn't over yet.

Tampa Bay opted not to get into any bidding wars in free agency, deciding instead to re-sign their own players and bring back key pieces that helped turn last season into such a success. Baker Mayfield and Mike Evans were extended before the tampering period opened in March, and Antonine Winfield Jr. joined them two months later with a record-setting new contract.

One more piece of the core needs to be taken care of.

Tristan Wirfs has been the best offensive lineman in football for the last few years, and he wants to be paid as such. Wirfs is holding out of OTAs, both to remain healthy and also to put some pressure on the Bucs, in hopes of getting the Winfield Treatment.

While he's not participating in practice at OTAs, it's clear that his presence is still being felt.

Baker Mayfield comments on Tristan Wirfs holding out at OTAs

While speaking with the media this week, Mayfield made sure to not only comment on Wirfs' situation but seemingly back him in his fight to get a long-term deal done this summer.

“Our situations are different because he’s playing on a fifth-year option,” Mayfield said. “There’s a difference there where it was free agency with mine. But when it comes down to Tristan, everybody knows he’s a team guy. At this point does he deserve to be paid? Absolutely, the guy’s a stud.

If there's a list of people that want to see Wirfs back, Mayfield is probably at the top of the list bolded and underlined. Wirfs was a centerpiece of an offensive line that cleared a path for Tampa Bay to win another Super Bowl back in 2020, and he's only gotten better since.

He's expected to break the bank ads far as his new contract goes, which is probably why the Bucs are trying to hold off on making something official too soon. After having handed over over $200 million to Winfield Jr., Mayfield, and Evans it's easy to see why Tampa Bay might want to pump the brakes and sort things out first.

Wirfs is not a guy who is getting way, let that much be as crystal clear as Mayfield's support. He's not only a Pro Bowler on the field but a leader in the locker room and a key piece of the team's core. Mayfield coming to his support is just further proof of that and how much his worth will exceed any dollar amount the team puts on paper.

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