NFL insider says teams 'didn't want' Baker Mayfield in free agency

Baker Mayfield apparently didn't have the market we all thought he did.

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

Before free agency had even starter -- officially or otherwise -- the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had already put together an incredible class. Mike Evans opted to return on a two-year deal, the team took a massive step toward securing Antoine Winfield as a piece of the core, and Baker Mayfield re-signed rather than play the Bucs against other teams rumored to be interested.

That last signing was perhaps the biggest of them all, as Baker seemed to be the hinge on which the rest of Tampa Bay's offseason swung. The team has made moves with the intention of Mayfield coming back, like hiring Liam Coen as offensive coordinator and getting a deal with Evans done first.

All of this came down to the wire, as Baker re-signed with less than 24 hours to go before the legal tampering window opened. It also happened against the backdrop of rumored interest from at least three other teams, with a handful of others making sense as destinations had Baker hit the open market.

It turns out that despite the anxiety of hearing those rumors, nobody else was actually interested in signing Baker.

NFL insider says teams 'didn't want' Baker Mayfield in free agency

ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio broke down the Bucs move to re-sign Baker Mayfield and was largely positive about what it means for them to bring him back. He applauded his elite leadership and went as far as to say Tampa Bay got a bargain on the deal.

He also said that the Bucs got Baker back because he had no other options.

"There was nothing better out there," Florio said. "This works out perfectly for the Buccaneers because, for the second straight year, the other teams out there didn’t want him. They want somebody younger. [Baker] is only 28. They want somebody younger."

That seems a little backhanded, but we'll roll with it.

It also seems a bit strange to think that Baker definitely didn't have any interest from teams despite the rumors that had popped up in the week prior. New England was the first team to be mentioned as a potential suitor with the Atlanta Falcons cropping up rather prominently as well. The Vikings were mentioned as a candidate to sign Mayfield and logical fits existed in Denver and Pittsburgh as well.

Of course a lot of this was speculation based on what insiders were hearing, and anything more than that would bump up against tampering. Mayfield not having a market is hard to believe, even if teams that were reportedly interested have moved onto the draft to fill their need at quarterback.

Whether or not he had a market, and if that played into him returning to Tampa Bay, seemed beside the point. All along, throughout the speculation, the Bucs were always the best landing spot for Baker and it's clear he felt the same way. His return without testing the market, as well as Evans doing the same thing, is a testament to what Jason Licht has built and the type of team the Bucs are -- which is a competitive organization players want to play for.

More Tampa Bay Buccaneers news and rumors