Patriots front office reportedly wants to steal Baker Mayfield from Bucs

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Buffalo Bills
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Buffalo Bills / Timothy T Ludwig/GettyImages

We're still a few weeks away from NFL free agency beginning, but already there are teams reportedly lining up to challenge the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their quest to re-sign Baker Mayfield.

One team that has already been identified is the Atlanta Falcons, who reportedly have Mayfield at the top of their free agent list. Losing Baker would be bad enough, but to have him slip away to a division rival would be among the biggest misfires an otherwise increidble front office has had.

It's not going to happen, but it's still worth monitoring until Mayfield puts pen to paper in Tampa Bay.

Atlanta isn't the only team looking to potentially sign Baker if the Bucs fail to reach a deal with him before free agency begins.

Patriots front office reportedly supports signing Baker Mayfield

According to Patriots reporter Doug Kyed, Mayfield has support in New England's front office which is full of 'supporters' who wouldn't mind a reunion this offseason.

"It’s not a surprise that Mayfield is liked by members of the staff. He was drafted by a front office that included current Patriots de facto general manager Eliot Wolf and coached by offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt and quarterbacks coach T.C. McCartney with the Browns. Patriots senior personnel advisor Pat Stewart and senior offensive assistant Ben McAdoo spent time with Mayfield with the Panthers, as well."

Kyed also notes that the Patriots conducted formal interviews with the top quarterbacks in this year's draft class, so it's not a guaruntee that Mayfield will be pursued in free agency. That being said, New England could envision a situation where it signs Baker and then has a top young quarterback learn the ropes from him before taking over in a few years.

That's purely speculation and there are some flaws in that logic. New England paying $40 million a year for Baker and using the No. 3 overall pick on a player who won't play for at least two seasons is a bold risk. It all depends on how long the leash is for the current regime and how quickly Robert Kraft wants to see the course corrected after how things went in the immediate aftermath of losing Tom Brady.

Baker's best landing spot remains with the Bucs, which can't be forgotten. While the front office in New England might like him, the one in Tampa Bay adores him and has worked all season to cultivate the sort of relationship that will pay off in him re-signing.

There will no doubt be outside interest -- as there should be after the season he had -- but it's all noise that will soon be drowned out.

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