Mayfield signed with the Bucs in March as a potential replacement for retired quarterback Tom Brady. That’s after a tumultuous 2022 for Mayfield that included time with four different teams — an apparent free fall for the former No. 1 draft pick.
“I’m wired different. I don’t need anyone on the outside to tell me what I can or can’t do,” Mayfield told reporters on Thursday, July 27. “I know what I am capable of.”
“Yeah, I mean I got hurt in Cleveland. That is why my run ended there. Then last year, it was what it was in Carolina. Everything happens for a reason. I am here now, and I am ready to go,” Mayfield said.
Mayfield led the Cleveland Browns to the playoffs in 2020, but a shoulder injury in 2021 slowed his progress as the Browns traded him in 2022. The Carolina Panthers didn’t get desired results from Mayfield and cut him, and Mayfield finished the 2022 season with the Los Angeles Rams.
Baker Mayfield Believes the Bucs Can Disprove Doubters
Tampa Bay certainly merited national skeptics after a downturn in Brady’s final season with the team. The Bucs went 8-9 despite an NFC South crown, and the Dallas Cowboys thumped the Bucs in the Wild Card round — two years after winning a Super Bowl.
“This team, you talk about skeptics and what the narrative is around this team, I think it speaks to our veterans and the people that were a part of the run to the Super Bowl and the success that they have had recently, more so than me,” Mayfield added. “I will always have a chip on my shoulder.”
The Bucs still have many players from the 2020 Super Bowl team, and Mayfield previously called the Bucs a unique situation when he signed with the team. Mayfield will get to throw to Pro Bowl-caliber receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin plus benefit from a top-10 caliber defense.
“That is how I approach every day, but it is good to be around a room and a group who has had that success and continues to have that mentality as well. It is a good fit, but we are going to write our own story,” Mayfield said. “You cannot carry on anything from the past years. You might internalize and think about it, but nothing translates to the next year.”
Bucs Maintain Open QB Competition at Training Camp
Despite his experience, Mayfield is competing with third-year quarterback Kyle Trask for the starting job at training camp, and Trask only has 10 regular season snaps. Both Bucs head coach Todd Bowles and general manager Jason Licht have maintained that there’s a competition despite the discrepancies between the two quarterbacks.
“People can have in their head, ‘Well, it seems like it’s for sure going to be this person or it’s not going to be this person,’ but until we’re out there, anything can happen,” Licht told reporters on July 25. “It’s going to be a lot of fun just to really focus on how this is going to play out.”