Insider Reveals ‘Likely’ Buccaneers Contract Offer Value for Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield

Getty Baker Mayfield's contract talks with the Buccaneers have begun.

Contract talks between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and quarterback Baker Mayfield have begun, and team insider Rick Stroud revealed the “likely” annual contract offer value.

“The Bucs likely would be willing to give him the equivalent of the franchise player value of $36.3 million but aren’t expected to use that designation on him,” Stroud wrote for the Tampa Bay Times on Friday. “In fact, $40 million per year may sound high for Mayfield, but it could fall within the top 15 quarterbacks in terms of salary once other deals are done for veterans.”

Mayfield had a career year with the Buccaneers in 2023, and he will command far more than his one-year, $4 million deal last season. While Spotrac projected $27.1 million annually or a four-year, $108.51 million deal, Stroud has already reported higher anticipated numbers.

Both ESPN’s Jeff Darlington and SiriusXM NFL Radio’s Amber Theoharis have reported Mayfield’s desire to earn market value in 2024. Two quarterback-needy teams, the Washington Commanders and New England Patriots, lead the league in salary cap space at $96.44 million and $86.8 million respectively — meaning either could pay Mayfield a hefty price as a stop-gap quarterback.

The Buccaneers have the league’s 12th-best salary cap situation at $48.16 million available, and there’s only so many other quarterback-needy teams with more spending money, but there’s a few others that could part ways with high-priced quarterbacks, too. The Las Vegas Raiders, for instance, have $55.47 million in salary cap space, and Rich Eisen floated that possibility on “The Rich Eisen Show” on Wednesday.

Baker Mayfield Looking for a Winner and Stability

Stroud shot down the Patriots as a landing spot because Mayfield “wants to play for a winner”, and the same would apply to the Commanders, Raiders, and any other quarterback-needy squad ahead of the Buccaneers in salary cap space. In addition, the Patriots and Commanders own two of the top three picks, which likely go to star college quarterbacks.

Mayfield is also “looking for stability after playing for four teams in less than two years” as Stroud noted. The Buccaneers already hired a familiar offensive coordinator in Liam Coen to help encourage Mayfield to stay as the two worked together with the Los Angeles Rams in December 2022.

The next step awaits at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis next week, and Stroud reported that general manager Jason Licht “is expected to meet with Mayfield’s agent, Tom Mills” and that “both sides have expressed an interest in reaching an agreement” on a contract.

Buccaneers Eying Michael Penix Jr. at Combine

While the Buccaneers will look hard at re-signing Mayfield, a quarterback prospect is on the team’s radar at the combine. That’s Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr., a Tampa native.

“Penix already is among [Buccaneers senior advisor] Bruce Arians’ favorite quarterbacks in the draft because of his ability to throw the football downfield,” Stroud wrote. “The problem is, he could be gone well before the Bucs pick at No. 26. In a weird way, they have to hope some clubs are scared away by the medical reports, which include having torn two ACLs.”

In six collegiate seasons between Indiana and Washington, Penix has 13,741 yards passing for 96 touchdowns plus 13 rushing touchdowns.