The Los Angeles Rams are officially down a quarterback, after Baker Mayfield went on to reach an agreement with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday, March 15 per ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter.
Mayfield, who saw action in five games with four starts for the Rams after being released by the Carolina Panthers, was given one year with the Bucs as they aim to replace seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady, who guided the franchise to the Super Bowl 55 win.
“Former No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield reached agreement today on a one-year deal worth up to $8.5 million with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, per sources. Mayfield is now in line to be Tom Brady’s successor,” Schefter reported.
Mayfield is making his signing on the start of the league’s calendar year, and when signings across the league become official.
The former No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft managed to take advantage of his new digs in L.A. — helping snap the Rams’ long losing streak on December 4 by leading the game winning touchdown to Van Jefferson over the Las Vegas Raiders. Mayfield improved his completion percentage to 63.6% and QB rating to 86.4 in his brief tenure with the Rams.
Mayfield is now walking into a QB room that features only he and former 2021 second rounder Kyle Trask, who has zero regular season starts after spending his first two seasons backing up Brady.
Who the Rams are Now Left With
As of Wednesday morning, John Wolford and Bryce Perkins are still inside the “Rams House” and right behind Matthew Stafford.
However, both are still considered free agents.
Perhaps now, the Rams and general manager Les Snead can be convinced to resign one or the other. Especially with both not in the unrestricted free agent category. Wolford is a restricted free agent while Perkins is in the exclusive rights category.
Regardless, the Rams are to likely address the QB room either via whoever is left in free agency or wait until the NFL Draft on April 28.
Potential Veteran Candidates to Replace Mayfield in the ‘Rams House’
If the Rams are to pivot to free agency, the list of veteran options there are starting to dry up.
Two names once linked as possibilities for L.A., Taylor Heinicke and Mike White (who has ties to Rams offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur), have since signed with the Atlanta Falcons and Miami Dolphins, respectively.
There are names like Carson Wentz still out there, following his release from the Washington Commanders. But after playing for the Eagles’ Super Bowl 52 team, Wentz has had difficulty staying healthy and was limited to seven games last season. Wentz, the former No. 2 pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, is now in a position where if he signs anywhere, he’s on his fourth NFL team since 2020.
Another QB with a Super Bowl past is Matt Ryan, who was released by the Indianapolis Colts after one season. “Matty Ice” thrived under Kyle Shanahan with the Falcons, who ran a similar Rams-style attack when Shanahan was the offensive coordinator there. However, Ryan’s age (will be 38 next season) and posting a sub .500 record as a starter since 2018 could get teams believing his best days are behind him.
One last veteran name is former No. 2 overall draft pick Marcus Mariota, who is searching for his fourth NFL stop. Mariota went 5-8 as a starter for the Falcons in 2022. He did manage to throw his most touchdown passes (15) since his career-best 2016 season when he tossed 26. But, Bleacher Report believes Washington is the best fit for Mariota.
But, as mentioned by Cameron DaSilva of Rams Wire on USA Today, the Rams were suggested to look into Matt Corral of the Carolina Panthers — who per the NFL Network’s Mike Giardi has the Panthers willing to move him. Corral’s chances of starting in Charlotte are now getting slimmer after Carolina added veteran Andy Dalton. And the Panthers are likely to draft a QB first on April 27 — which puts Corral as the possible No. 3 if he stays.