Buccaneers Insiders Offer Concerning Updates on Baker Mayfield Contract Talks

Baker Mayfield

Getty Baker Mayfield has yet to sign with the Buccaneers for 2024.

Quarterback Baker Mayfield inches closer to free agency, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers don’t have a new deal for him yet.

Pewter Report’s Scott Reynolds reported on Wednesday that “both sides are still not close to agreeing to terms on a contract extension” for Mayfield on Wednesday. Reynolds noted that the sides started “nearly $20 million apart” based on sources that talked with Pewter Report.

ESPN’s Jenna Laine also reported on Wednesday that “the two sides are continuing to try and work towards a deal” and that progress is “slowly” occurring. Laine noted that the “legal negotiation window opens up March 11, which is when other teams can enter the picture, so they still have time.”

Obstacles don’t mean either side has thrown in the towel, too. The Athletic’s Dianna Russini reported on Wednesday that “Mayfield and the Bucs were working hard to strike a deal” per sources.

Tampa Bay could pay Mayfield upward of $30 million annually or the equivalent of a four-year, $120 million deal per Spotrac. The Buccaneers could take a salary cap hit of $6.25 million this year and move further cap hits into the future with a voidable year.

Other Suitors With Deeper Pockets Could Swoop in for Baker Mayfield

If the Buccaneers don’t get the deal done, other teams with larger salary cap spaces could come calling. The Buccaneers sit at 18th in the league right now with $22.45 million for salary cap space, and four potential suitors all have more space to work with.

With the third-best space in the league, New England Patriots have $78.47 million to work with though the interest isn’t mutual according to The Athletic’s Chad Graff. The Atlanta Falcons, $41.26 million, and the Las Vegas Raiders, $47.86 million, both have urgent needs at quarterback. The Minnesota Vikings, $40.9 million, could need a quarterback if Kirk Cousins leaves in free agency.

Mayfield produced a career year with the Buccaneers in 2023 with 4,044 yards passing and 28 touchdowns versus 10 interceptions. He led the Buccaneers to an NFC South title, a Divisional Round appearance, and he made the Pro Bowl.

Tampa Bay enjoyed a steal with Mayfield in 2023 when he played on a one-year $4 million contract.

Mike Evans Given Assurance That Baker Mayfield Will Stay: Report

Mayfield’s favorite target, wide receiver Mike Evans, already signed a new deal amid expectation that the quarterback will follow suit.

“Indeed, per a league source, Evans got an assurance from the Bucs that they’ll do everything they can to keep Mayfield,” Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reported on Wednesday. “Really, why pay Evans $20.5 million per year on a two-year deal if they don’t intend to have a viable quarterback?”

Evans agreed to a two-year, $52 million contract last week to stay in Tampa after rumors of his departure swirled for months. Last season, Evans made Mayfield’s job easier with 79 catches for 1,255 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Mayfield told reporters in January that he wanted Evans to stay in order to come back, too, and Mayfield has been clear he likes it in Tampa. That said, reports surfaced that Mayfield wants market value in free agency, which could leave the Buccaneers without a starting quarterback in the immediate future.