After months of rumors, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have finally agreed to terms with Baker Mayfield to compete with Kyle Trask to become the team’s new starting quarterback. According to ESPN’s Jenna Laine, Mayfield will sign a one-year contract with a base salary of $4.5 million with the potential for this number to be as much as $8 million if certain incentives are met.
“Per source, it’s $4 million for Baker Mayfield with the Bucs,” ESPN’s Jenna Laine tweeted on March 15, 2023. “Incentives would push it to $8.5 million. Very low risk here.”
The inclusion of incentives helped the Bucs fit Mayfield within their tight salary cap constraints. Fox Sports’ Greg Auman noted that Mayfield’s contract likely includes void years to help the Bucs fit the former No. 1 pick under the salary cap. According to Spotrac, the Buccaneers are finally below the salary cap with a projected $3.8 million of space, but Mayfield will likely take a good portion of this.
“I can confirm Bucs have agreed to a one-year deal with quarterback Baker Mayfield, as others have reported,” Auman tweeted on March 15. “$8.5 million, though I’m sure there will be void years to lessen the 2023 cap number.
The Bucs Were Also Linked to Veteran QB Jacoby Brissett
Tampa Bay was also showing an interest in adding veteran quarterback Jacoby Brissett, but the addition of Mayfield likely takes the team out of the running for the Browns quarterback. The Bucs have been consistent about their desire to give Trask an opportunity to compete to become the QB1.
“The Tampa Bay Bucs have shown interest in both QB Baker Mayfield and Jacoby Brissett, per sources,” ESPN’s Dianna Russini tweeted on March 13.
Tampa Bay is Hoping New OC Dave Canales Can Revitalize Baker Mayfield’s Career Like Geno Smith
New Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales had success in helping rejuvenate Geno Smith’s career in Seattle after most of the league had discounted the veteran’s chances of being a viable NFL starting quarterback. Tampa Bay is hoping Canales can do the same with Mayfield in a new-look Buccaneers offense after Smith made his first Pro Bowl with the Bucs assistant as his quarterbacks coach.
“Dave Canales could be a fun coordinator to team up with Baker Mayfield,” Sports Illustrated’s Corbin Smith tweeted on March 15. “Geno Smith will certainly vouch for him as a quarterback coach.”
Will Kyle Trask Be Able to Beat Out Baker Mayfield to Become the Bucs Starting Quarterback?
Following Tom Brady’s retirement, Mayfield had been the most consistent name being linked to the Bucs. It remains to be seen whether Trask will be able to beat out Mayfield as the new starting quarterback as the former Florida standout has played in just one NFL game. Even before Mayfield was signed, general manager Jason Licht had been open about his desire to create a quarterback competition.
“You have to give everybody competition,” Licht said during a February 28 press conference. “He’s [Trask] the only quarterback on our roster right now. I’m just saying if he were the starter, or if he was the only option that we had right now, we’d be very, very excited about going forward with him. And he’s going to get the opportunity, no matter who we bring in, to be the starter.”