Bucs’ Mayfield’s 2023 Play Called ‘Aggressively Stupid’ by Analyst

Baker Mayfield

Getty Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Over the last few years, former NFL quarterback Chris Simms has proved to be perhaps the very best out of the national media when it comes to evaluating college quarterbacks ahead of the NFL draft.

In 2018, he put two-time NFL Most Valuable Player Lamar Jackson at the top of his pre-draft quarterback rankings. In 2023, he went with C.J. Stroud over Bryce Young.

So when Simms talks quarterbacks, people listen.

In a new ranking of NFL quarterbacks, he called the style of play of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ Baker Mayfield in the first half of 2023 “aggressively stupid,” saying Mayfield performed more wisely later in the season.

“I think this year he found the happy medium about week eight or week nine or somewhere around there it was like, ‘Wait, this is aggressive — this is aggressively stupid. This is not right, let me find the fine line here but still make game-changing throws,'” Simms said June 11 in an NBC Sports podcast, placing Mayfield at No. 15 out of 40.

Chris Simms Credited Baker Mayfield With Stepping Into Tom Brady’s Shoes

Simms gave Mayfield credit for stepping in and replacing seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady on a 1-year, $4 million contract in 2023 and doing what Brady couldn’t do a year earlier: win a playoff game.

“So take over for Tom Brady and just go to the playoffs, right?” Simms said. “And then win a (Wild Card) game when Tom Brady got blown out in the Wild Card game the year before … like I said, all of that is like, really impressive. (Mayfield) replaced the GOAT and his career was on the line and I think we’ve said for years before he was a starting quarterback and a damn good one but there’s still more to improve on.

But he also criticized Mayfield, who signed a 3-year, $100 million contract in March 2024, for taking too many chances with the ball.

“He is what you want as a starting quarterback,” Simms said. “His ability to throw the ball and handle big moments … I think is what you want, too. I mean, he’s fearless. And if there was a negative — sometimes it’s a little too fearless, right?”

Simms put Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes at No. 1 on is list.

For the other NFC South quarterbacks, Simms had Atlanta Falcons quarterback Kirk Cousins at No. 12, New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr at No. 22 and Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young at No. 34.

Simms Almost Died After Playing Game for Buccaneers

Buccaneers fans should remember Simms — the son of Super Bowl MVP Phil Simms was drafted by Tampa Bay in the third round of the 2003 NFL draft and played there for five seasons.

Simms actually almost died on the field for the Buccaneers in 2005. After taking several hard hits against the Carolina Panthers, he was taken off the field but decided to return to the game and led a scoring drive but continued to be in pain.

Simms was taken to a nearby hospital following the game and underwent emergency surgery on a ruptured spleen and lost five pints of blood. Simms said doctors told him another 45 minutes without treating his injury would have been fatal.

Simms ended up playing eight seasons in the NFL for four different teams.

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