Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield is getting another shot to kickstart his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Mayfield was introduced by the Bucs on Monday after inking a one-year deal with the team. He’ll compete with former second-round pick Kyle Trask for their starting quarterback role
The former No. 1 overall pick appeared to subtly shade his former team during his introductory press conference while discussing his reasoning for choosing Tampa Bay.
“It was important to me to be in a place that’s stable and knows how to win and how to do it properly,” Mayfield told reporters. “I want to go somewhere that we can win right away, and this is that place.”
Mayfield Felt ‘Disrespected’ By Browns After Watson Trade
Mayfield landed with the Browns in 2018 with Cleveland fresh off an 0-16 and just four wins in three seasons. He helped lead the team to the playoffs for the first time in nearly two decades during the 2020 season. Mayfield’s time with the Browns came to an untimely and dramatic end, with the team trading for Deshaun Watson.
“I feel disrespected 100%,” Mayfield said of the move during a podcast appearance amidst the offseason drama. “Because I was told one thing and they completely did another.”
After the move for Watson, the Browns traded Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers, where he struggled to get on track. He went just 1-5 as the starter, tossing six touchdowns to go with six interceptions and the worst QB rating (74.4) of his career. Mayfield was released in December.
However, he kept his career afloat when he landed with the Los Angeles Rams, leading an astounding comeback in his first start on Thursday Night Football against the Raiders. In all, Mayfield passed for 850 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions in his five games with the Rams, which was enough to generate some free agent interest.
Baker Mayfield: ‘I’m Never Going to Be Tom Brady’
Mayfield has big shoes to fill in Tampa Bay as the successor to seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady. However, he’s not letting that get in his head.
“Listen, I’m never going to be Tom Brady,” Mayfield said. “There’s a reason he’s won so many Super Bowls. He’s the greatest of all time. There’s no doubt about that. I’m not going to try to be Tom. I’m going to be me. That’s what has gotten me to this point. We’re going to do it differently, but that’s what makes this league so special. Everybody puts their own touch on it.”
Mayfield is a polarizing personality, which showed at times during his tenure in Cleveland and previously in college. He’ll say what he’s thinking and doesn’t plan to change that.
“My personality might rub people the wrong way, but I am who I am and that’s how I was raised to be. I’m not trying to play to be your friend or to impress you,” Mayfield said. “I’m doing it because I love it and I’m doing it because I love my teammates. And I think all my teammates would say that behind closed doors, [they] knew who I really am and that’s what really matters, my family and I trust in that. So it is what it is. I’m not too worried about the outside persona.”
The Browns and Buccaneers will not face off next season.