All signs point to Baker Mayfield being the Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting quarterback in Week 1, but the latest NFL buzz has the franchise potentially adding insurance at the position. Bleacher Report’s Maurice Moton put together a list of the top landing spots for the remaining veteran free agents and believes the Bucs should make a run at Carson Wentz.
“The Buccaneers can replace John Wolford with Carson Wentz to give Mayfield stiffer competition,” Moton detailed on August 14, 2023. “With the addition of Wentz, offensive coordinator Dave Canales would also have a backup plan in case Mayfield sputters as he did with the Carolina Panthers at the beginning of the previous season.
“Wentz has been inconsistent with his decision-making in the pocket and often overlooks easy throws for big plays. On the other hand, he can at least stretch the field with two high-end wideouts and escape the pocket when the offensive line has a breakdown. Mayfield doesn’t have those playmaking qualities in his skill set. Tampa Bay must expand its quarterback options.”
Todd Bowles on Tampa Bay Buccaneers Quarterback Competition: ‘I Won’t Make That Decision Right Now’
There has been plenty of speculation about where the Buccaneers quarterback competition stands with JoeBucsFan.com’s Ira Kaufman suggesting the team has already decided Mayfield will be the new QB1. Mayfield outperformed Trask in the team’s first preseason outing completing 8-of-9 passes for 63 yards and 1 touchdown.
Trask threw a costly interception and failed to throw a touchdown. Publicly, head coach Todd Bowles continues to emphasize that the quarterback competition is still ongoing and no decision has been made.
“We’ll evaluate that after the Jets game to see where we are,” Bowles told reporters on August 12. “I won’t make that decision right now. That’ll be determined after the game going forward – both of them will, as far as who will play in the third preseason game and who will start that one.”
Does Carson Wentz Represent a QB Upgrade for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
Wentz’s career has taken a downward turn since his Pro Bowl campaign in 2017. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Wentz worked out with former Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden in Tampa over the offseason.
“Free-agent QB Carson Wentz has been spending time in Tampa, throwing and studying film with former NFL head coach Jon Gruden,” Schefter tweeted on June 14. “Wentz wants and intends to play this season, and is awaiting the right situation.”
The main question is whether Wentz represents an upgrade over the Buccaneers current quarterback situation. Wentz could be an affordable insurance option for the Bucs in case Mayfield or Trask are unable to take a firm hold on the starting gig. Tampa Bay would mark Wentz’s fourth team in as many seasons.
“Updated free agent QB Carson Wentz on @SportsCenter … He’s been working out in L.A. in preparation for the season, he’s received interest from teams and he might wait longer into offseason to see what develops,” ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler detailed on Twitter on May 14. “But he’s open to any role, I’m told (starter or backup).”