Buccaneers drop major hint about Baker Mayfield’s future in Tampa Bay

Yeah, he’s absolutely coming back next season.
2024 NFL Pro Bowl Games
2024 NFL Pro Bowl Games / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages

It was a pretty big weekend for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, one that hopefully builds some positive momentum heading into the offseason.

The Bucs finally found an offensive coordinator to replace Dave Canales, hiring Liam Coen to take over play calling duties. Coen comes from two interesting systems, both of which suggest he’ll bring something new and unique that we didn’t see from Canales last season.

Last year Coen was working his second stint as offensive coordinator at Kentucky, learning some of where the game’s going with schemes, but before that he was marinating in Sean McVay’s system out in Los Angeles. That’s where Coen crossed paths with Baker Mayfield and it’s why his hiring offers some nice continuity for the Bucs quarterback.

Assuming Baker is back, of course.

Speaking of Baker, he was off winning Offensive MVP at the Pro Bowl which not only polished off his revenge tour in style but kept the positive vibes going.

Over the weekend we learned that while the final decision is still down the road in March, the process of hiring Coen as offensive coordinator indicates that minds might already be made up about Baker’s future.

Buccaneers basically confirm Baker Mayfield is coming back in 2024

After Coen was hired, Baker was asked about how he felt and noted that he’s been part of the process all along. Jenna Laine passed along a nugget in which Baker reveals the Bucs have been asking his input on every offensive coordinator candidate the team considered this offseason.

This would seemingly confirm that Baker is in the Bucs’ plans for next season and beyond.

Bringing Baker back was always going to be a top offseason priority, but to involve him in the offensive coordinator search is a huge show of commitment. He’s already won over the locker room and left his stamp on the team, and to have a say in who fills a key role on the coaching staff is the surest sign yet that the team intends to re-sign him this offseason.

All signs have pointed toward that happening anyway, but this sort of sweetens the deal. Baker has earned a huge amount of trust, from leading the team through choppy waters during a 1-6 slump to winning over the locker room in ways not even Tom Brady was able to do.

Ever since Baker arrived in Tampa he’s been raving about much he loves the way things are run and the team keeps giving him reasons to stay beyond a fat new contract. Much has been made about how many different coordinators he’s had to work with in his relatively short career, but to allow him to have a say in a decision that has so often worked against him is the sort of mutual respect Baker hasn’t always received.

That’s the stuff that goes a long way — or at least it could — when negotiating a new deal, and it’s an authentically honest sign of how much the Bucs value Baker and want him to be a centerpiece of the future.

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