Rams’ Baker Mayfield Expected to be Pursued by Division Winner: Report

Baker Mayfield

Getty Baker Mayfield directs the offense on January 1, 2023 in Inglewood.

There’s a 2022 NFC division winner with a quarterback conundrum on their hands — as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers face replacing seven-time Super Bowl champ and the man who guided them to their last Vince Lombardi Trophy Tom Brady.

Two insiders believe that Los Angeles Rams free agent quarterback Baker Mayfield will be pursued by the NFC South champs.

“When free agency begins, the Bucs are expected to target Ex-Rams QB Baker Mayfield as a potential starting QB option, per me and Mike Garafolo,” NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport said on Sunday, March 12. “This could be competition for Kyle Trask, their former 2nd-round pick, who the team likes a lot. As TB plots life without Tom Brady.”

Fellow NFL Network insider Garafolo adds: “The Buccaneers are looking for a veteran free agent QB at the right price. They have a few guys they’ll check in on but Baker Mayfield could wind up making the most sense from a fit and financial standpoint.”

What Mayfield Could Walk Into if Lured in

Trask, a home state product who starred at the University of Florida, was drafted in the second round in 2021 and has spent the last two seasons waiting in the wings. The 25-year-old has thrown nine career passes, completing three of them for 23 yards.

However, the winners of the last three NFC South titles is facing a thin quarterback room with Brady headed to retirement. Outside of Brady walking away (who was an unrestricted free agent in the 2023 cycle), the Bucs are also facing losing Blaine Gabbert, who’s also a UFA.

Mayfield would be in a situation where he’s having to learn his fourth offense since the summer of 2022 — as he’s gone from the Cleveland Browns, Carolina Panthers and in December 2022 the Rams offense.

However, he would also give the Bucs a veteran presence and one with past playoff experience (took Cleveland to the playoffs in 2020 season) in the QB room if brought over. Many analysts and fans also believe Mayfield has rejuvenated himself under Sean McVay following his release from the Panthers. Mayfield improved his completion percentage to 63.6, touchdown percentage to 3.1 and QB rating to 86.4 in four games with the Rams according to Pro Football Reference.

Not the First Time Bucs & Mayfield Have Been Linked Together

One month before the NFL Network report, one team insider around the Bucs believed Mayfield “absolutely” can come in and replace Brady in Tampa: Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.

“I think a lot of it depends on who the [offensive] coordinator is, but listen, they were looking last year for quarterbacks when Brady was out for those 40 days and Baker was on that list,” Stroud said on The Dan Patrick Show on February 2.

Do the Rams have any hope of maintaining Mayfield? Especially since the Rams themselves are facing a one-QB room with Bryce Perkins and John Wolford as free agents as well?

NFL insider Jordan Schultz of The Score shared where he was told the Rams stood on March 6.

“It’s my understanding that the Rams would like to keep Baker Mayfield, but will have competition. The 49ers like Mayfield and the Bucs are a sleeper. I’d expect him to land on a number around $8 million,” Schultz said.

But now, the Bucs are heating up as the top pursuer of Mayfield on the eve of the free agent signing period.

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