NFL insider gives latest Baker Mayfield update after Bucs re-sign Mike Evans

After re-signing Mike Evans, the Bucs need to work something out with Baker Mayfield.

Tennessee Titans v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tennessee Titans v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Rich Storry/GettyImages
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Now that Mike Evans has decided to return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the next order of business for the team is working something out to bring back Baker Mayfield.

We all assumed it would be Baker who signed first, thus incentivizing Evans to do the same. It turns out the roles have reversed, but that endgame remains the same. If anything, news that Tampa Bay inked Evans to a new two-year, $52 million contract on Monday makes it even more likely that Baker returns on a new deal of his own.

That point hasn't been reached yet, and the anxiety Bucs fans felt about Evans slipping away now shifts to Baker. It still seems the best -- and most likely -- outcome is that the two sides agree to a deal before the free agency tampering period opens on March 11th, but nothing is certain until an agreement is actually made.

All attention now shifts to Baker, including the national media who continues to keep an eye on not only his possible return to Tampa Bay but the places he could go if the Bucs fail to get something done.

Baker Mayfield contract talks expected to heat up after Mike Evans re-signs

The Athletic's Dianna Russini has been all over the Bucs beat recently and offered an update on where things stand with Baker after news of Evans' new contract became official. Russni notes that while the two sides are talking, the remain far enough apart that a deal hasn't been agreed upon yet.

Specifically she notes that Baker isn't interested in taking a hometown discount.

"The Bucs have started negotiations to keep him and making every effort to get it done. Sources have shared the QB will not take a hometown discount to stay. Meanwhile teams like Atlanta and Minnesota are watching," Russini reported.

This isn't at all surprising, and seems to be in the same vein as report about Evans hitting free agency last week. Russini reported that Evans intended on testing the open market, which came across as a lot more intense than it actually was.

Nobody is expecting Baker to take a hometown discount, especially not the Bucs front office. All along the intention has been to pay Mayfield a fair market price and not once did Jason Licht indicate the team would lowball him.

Evans and the Bucs had long been circling each other but it felt like a third party might be needed to establish a firm price. That ultimately didn't happen as Evans agreed to a new deal on Monday and it feels like the same progression will occur with Baker.

Until the ink dries on a contract, the Bucs are in danger of losing Baker in free agency but that same situation existed with Evans. Now that he's agreed to return, there's even more reason for Mayfield to re-sign in Tampa Bay.

Like with Evans, money is the issue but it feels more like sorting out finer details at this point than anything that will keep him from returning.

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