Buccaneers Put Baker Mayfield on Notice Amid QB Competition

Baker Mayfield

Getty Baker Mayfield isn't a lock to win the Bucs starting quarterback job.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield cannot sit easy in the competition with Kyle Trask for the starting job.

“Oh, absolutely,” Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales told the media on Tuesday, August 1, regarding how the quarterback competition has heated up.

“The first couple of days, I think the experience that Baker brings, just playing in games, being in camps, going through installs, you can see where the offense was gelling really well,” Canales said. “The timing of the snaps and all that, it’s really critical for us. So, probably an edge for Baker to start off, just in terms of the smoothness of the offense.”

“But it just took a couple of days for Kyle to really settle in,” Canales added. “And then, what we saw in the last two practices, Kyle really showed what he can do, stretching the field with his arm, getting the ball out quickly, making decisions. So, I am really excited about both of those guys and the progression that they’ve made throughout the last couple of days.”

The Bucs selected Trask with a second-round NFL draft pick in 2021, and he sat behind Tom Brady for two seasons. Brady retired in February, but Trask never played more than 10 snaps and couldn’t pass former Bucs backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert on the depth chart.

A former No. 1 pick, Mayfield signed a one year, $4 million contract with the Bucs in March. Mayfield once led the Cleveland Browns to the playoffs in 2020, but his career went south after a trade and brief stints with the Carolina Panthers and Los Angeles Rams in 2022.

“I mean, they’ve both been having a really good camp. We’re all learning a new offense and it’s going to be much harder on quarterbacks, but they’re making some really good plays,” Canales told reporters. “They’re both really mobile, they both [have] really great arm talent. [They’re] really good, young players. They’re doing well right now. I’m looking forward to seeing who gets the job.”

Kyle Trask Bests Baker Mayfield in Ball Security

Trask has turned heads with his mobility and throws, along with no turnovers at camp for three straight practices. Mayfield had four interceptions through Monday, July 31, but he made a highlight-reel deep throw to wide receiver Deven Thompkins on Tuesday.

“I’ve got to see the tape. I know they made some throws,” Bucs head coach Todd Bowles told reporters on Tuesday. “I’ve got to see the tape and look at them fully. I was looking at quite a few other people, offense and D-line, really.”

Bowles also addressed Trask’s care of the ball. Canales previously highlighted turnovers as one the biggest areas for deciding the starter.

“It’s a great thing — their No. 1 responsibility is don’t turn the ball over. He’s been doing a good job of not turning it over,” Bowles said about Trask.

Todd Bowles Mum on Starting QB for Key Preseason Game

The preseason schedule doesn’t start until August 11, when the Bucs kick off against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the quarterback battle won’t crystalize at least until that happens. Bowles wouldn’t tip his cap on who would start the final preseason game on August 26 against the Baltimore Ravens let alone the Steelers game.

“We will see. We will see how the other two go. We don’t have a preset plan for the third game yet. We will see how the rest of it goes and how practice goes, and we will go from there,” Bowles told reporters on August 1 in response to a question about the starter of the third preseason game.

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