The Tampa Bay Buccaneers took a chance on Baker Mayfield this season and the payoff has been wonderful for both sides. For Mayfield, his career has been revamped after looking like another name to join the list of "number one overall picks who turned out to be busts". For the Bucs, they're in the playoffs and won their first playoff game of the post-Tom Brady era.
Despite all of the good vibes that Mayfield and the Bucs have had as of late, it still wouldn't necessarily be crazy if he didn't re-sign with the team for 2024 and beyond. The hope is that a new deal gets done between the two but if he has a bad game against the Lions this weekend or some unforeseen event happens in the offseason, maybe he doesn't come back to the Bucs.
Ryan Fowler of Bleacher Report discussed three possible landing spots for Mayfield if he doesn't return to Tampa. The three teams he linked to Mayfield were the Broncos, Raiders, and Vikings.
Why Mayfield signing with the Broncos makes sense
It's unknown if Mayfield hadn't gone number one overall in the 2018 NFL Draft if the Broncos would have taken him at number five but they didn't have the chance. With former Saints head coach Sean Payton now leading the charge in Denver, it's not wild to see him and Mayfield working together.
"While the dynamic of Payton and Mayfield would be Hard Knocks worthy, Denver has the pieces in place to compete on offense in the AFC West.- Ryan Fowler
Learning a new offense isn't easy, but Mayfield proved this fall the type of success he can have with talent around him and a few seconds to scan a defense."
Russell Wilson won't be back in Denver next season, or at least it doesn't feel as though he will be, so the Broncos will be looking for a new quarterback once again. Mayfield has been on four teams in his short career so joining a fifth one and learning yet another new offense would be nothing new for him.
Why Mayfield signing with the Raiders makes sense
Davante Adams would benefit the most from Mayfield joining the Raiders. Mayfield has had Mike Evans and Chris Godwin to throw to during his lone season in Tampa Bay and the results have been there. Fowler notes in his write-up that the Raiders need "spunk" at the quarterback position and Mayfield could bring that spunk.
For Mayfield, however, joining the AFC West might not be the smartest plan. He'd be going head-to-head with Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert each twice a year and while Mayfield isn't the type to really care about that stuff, why not stay in a more winnable division?
Why Mayfield signing with the Vikings makes sense
Justin Jefferson plays for the Vikings so that right there is a strong enough incentive for any quarterback to want to play in Minnesota. With Kirk Cousins potentially not returning to the Vikings in 2024, could the team opt to hit the free-agent market instead of drafting someone?
If so, Mayfield could be an option. They have the offensive weapons in place but now they just need a quarterback to execute the plays and stay healthy. Mayfield is one of the more durable signal-callers in the league and he'd give this Vikings offense some spice.
Hopefully, all of this speculation is for nothing and Baker Mayfield returns to Tampa to continue leading the Bucs.
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