One of the worst-kept secrets of the offseason became a reality on Tuesday morning.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles stepped up to the podium during practice and announced that Baker Mayfield would be the team’s starting quarterback when Week 1 arrives. It’s been the expectation since March when Mayfield signed with the Bucs, but the inevitable has now become official.
Bucs insiders like Ira Kauffman and J.C. Allen have been reporting this outcome for weeks, and anyone with a mild sense of the Bucs could tell that this would likely be the way the quarterback competition broke. It’s a bummer for Kyle Trask, who turned in as good a performance on Saturday night as we’ve seen from him so far, but Mayfield was signed with the intention of being the team’s starter and that’s exactly how things played out.
WIth Mayfield being officially named the Bucs Week 1 starter, the team was thrust back into the center of national attention with reactions to the news varying from excited to hopeful to laughable.
NFL fans and media react to Bucs naming Baker Mayfield starting QB
Not everyone was a fan of the decision, but that was always going to be the case. When Mayfield signed with the Bucs back in March the news was met by every Twitter comedian sending out the exact same joke thinking they were being original.
Dogging on Baker has become easy low hanging fruit to pluck in the name of engagement. It’s something weirdos on social media have been doing for years and guys like Colin Cowherd have been using to fill airtime on their shows.
As Luke Easterling pointed out, we haven’t seen a healthy version of Mayfield in a while nor have we seen him with a true cast of talented guys like he’ll have in Tampa Bay. If Baker can stay healthy and is able to develop chemistry with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and the rest of the offense, a lot of folks are going to be eating their Tweets when the Bucs emerge as a surprise team to watch this season.
Expectations are still lofty until proven otherwise, but the Bucs took an important step on Tuesday morning.