Proposed Trade Has Ex-Rams QB Baker Mayfield Battling $34 Million Passer

Baker Mayfield

Getty Baker Mayfield gets pressured during his final game with the Rams on January 8, 2023 in Seattle.

When Baker Mayfield signed his one-year, $8.5 million deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the part-time Los Angeles Rams quarterback saw it as an opportunity to earn a starting position in the league for 2023 in speaking with the Tampa media following his signing.

Now, there’s the new idea floating around the NFL atmosphere that has the former Ram Mayfield facing new competition — in the form of a $34 million passer who’s become the subject of trade rumblings with the NFL Draft one week away.

NFC West rival Trey Lance has had his name attached as a trade possibility via Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network on Wednesday, April 19, with the insider revealing the San Francisco 49ers have only received calls from teams asking about Lance, rather than making the calls themselves. But one proposal from Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report brings this idea: Mayfield’s new team takes a swing at getting Lance on board — creating new competition in that QB room especially post Tom Brady.

“As the Buccaneers move past the Tom Brady era, they should take calculated swings at high-potential quarterback options,” Moton wrote. “For Tampa Bay, Lance could be a lottery ticket at a low-to-moderate cost.”

Lance’s name has heated up in trade talks following the emergence of last year’s final draft pick Brock Purdy, who ended up guiding the 49ers to the NFC title game.

Trade Would Re-Create Competition for Mayfield Involving This Angle

Moton believes Lance would be worth surrendering the No. 82 overall pick in the third round to land the North Dakota State standout.

If the trade were to happen, it brings this angle back in front of Mayfield: Being in a competitor race with a fellow top five draft pick.

Mayfield, as NFL fans recall, was recently in the same room with former No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold during their time with the Carolina Panthers. Mayfield ultimately lost out on the starting reins and was released. He then saw rejuvenation with a Rams team that at the time was depleted in the QB room with all three options battling injuries.

Bringing in Lance recreates another possible competition between Mayfield and someone who was taken third overall.

Lance also wouldn’t be considered a “break the bank” type of trade if the Bucs orchestrate the move.

“Because of his minimal playing experience (eight games with four starts) and production, he’s unlikely to fetch a first or second round pick,” Moton said. “In an attempt to address the future of the position, Tampa Bay should be able to get San Francisco’s attention in trade negotiations by offering a top-100 selection.”

There’s one more potential scenario if it’s Mayfield and Lance in the same room.

“Lance would have two years to compete for the starting position with an additional offseason if the Buccaneers pick up his fifth-year option,” Moton said.

New Mock Draft Has Rams Taking QB They Met With, Plus One With Texas Ties

Could there be new Lonestar State representation inside the “Rams House?” One new mock draft points that direction.

Draft expert for Chad Reuter now has University of Houston QB Clayton Tune going to the Rams at No. 171 overall — with Reuter presenting this projection on Friday, April 21.

Tune was among the passers who met with the Rams during the pre-draft process. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder was a four-year starter at Houston and ended his college tenure with 4,074 yards, 40 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Fellow draft expert Lance Zierlein praised Tune’s resiliency, leadership and ability to read defenses on the field in his draft evaluation.

Tune would count as one of the Rams’ compensatory selections if he does go 171st overall. The Plano native Tune would join a fellow past Texan in Matthew Stafford, who played high school football at Highland Park in Dallas.

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