Baker Mayfield is a solid NFL quarterback, but he is not the godsend the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are hoping for in the wake of Tom Brady’s second retirement.
While I may like Mayfield more than most people do, Licht’s comments about what he brings to the Buccaneers feel desperate at best. He is totally capable of starting games and being good at stretches, but he is not a franchise quarterback worth building around like he was coming out of Oklahoma. Tampa Bay is circling the drain, as the Bucs might go first to worst…
Here is Licht’s statement on the Buccaneers’ latest free-agent acquisition after adding Mayfield.
Mayfield is tough, competitive and passionate, but I do not see him elevating the Buccaneers’ strong wide receiver corps of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Russell Gage beyond what Tom Brady did. I would love to be proven wrong here, but Atlanta is better, so is New Orleans and keep an eye on Carolina potentially being the team to beat in the NFC South in 2023. It was a good run, Tampa.
A quarterback room of Mayfield and Kyle Trask instills fear into absolutely no one in the division.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers feel Baker Mayfield is the solution to all their problems
The good news for Mayfield is he joins a division that has Derek Carr, Desmond Ridder and I guess, either C.J. Stroud or Anthony Richardson, as the other starting quarterbacks. This is not like going up against Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson and Ben Roethlisberger a combined six times each season. Regardless, Mayfield has never shown at the NFL level he can carry a team all by himself anyway.
Truth be told, that is totally fine. Most quarterbacks are not thermostats to begin with. They can tell the temperature in a room like a thermometer can, but do not really have the ability to be a truly transcendent game-changer. Mayfield can win games in Tampa Bay, but this is a defensive-minded football team under Todd Bowles’ watch. The team feels increasingly directionless of late.
Overall, we should root for Mayfield to do well because not only is he interesting, he is polarizing. Tampa Bay is not a big media market or a franchise with an incredibly stellar brand historically, but the Buccaneers are coming off its best three-year run in over a decade. Again, tides shift quickly in a league like the NFL. As with the Buccaneers, Mayfield is a sinking ship that could be salvageable.
The big question is what is flotsam and what is jetsam when it comes to this NFC South franchise.