Todd Bowles pressures Buccaneers' front office to run it back with Baker Mayfield

Todd Bowles is hoping the Tampa Bay Buccaneers front office is able to re-sign Baker Mayfield.

Todd Bowles, Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Todd Bowles, Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Mike Carlson/GettyImages

It would be a shame if it was only a one-year thing. That could be the case for veteran quarterback Baker Mayfield and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Mayfield just completed his sixth NFL season out of Oklahoma with his fourth franchise in the Buccaneers. While he had his moments with the Cleveland Browns in his first four years in the league, Mayfield has defined being a bounce-around player lately.

The good news for him is he had arguably the best season of his pro career last year. He helped guide the Buccaneers to not only an NFC South division title, but a playoff win at home over the heavily favored Philadelphia Eagles. While he may want to return to the Buccaneers in his upcoming free agency, it will be for more than the $4 million he signed on his deal last offseason. He is getting paid.

As for what Tampa Bay head coach Todd Bowles wants, he would prefer for Mayfield to return. He may be a defensive-minded head coach, but he has aligned himself with sound offensive minds over the years. His most recent offensive coordinator Dave Canales is taking over the reins of the Carolina Panthers. Coming to replace him is a guy Mayfield knows in Liam Coen from their time in Los Angeles.

Here is what Bowles said on Good Morning Football on Tuesday morning about Mayfield returning.

"It's an extremely high priority. We love Baker. He had a heck of a year. You want to hope to build on that. We hope that gets worked out."

Tampa Bay may value Mayfield more than any other NFL franchise, but he has some leverage here.

Todd Bowles wants Tampa Bay Buccaneers to re-sign Baker Mayfield

Look. Jason Licht has emerged as one of the better general managers in the league over the last several years. He was doing great things in building this team up before Tom Brady came to Gulf Coast Florida. Brady may have been a tremendous catalyst for change in Tampa Bay, but the culture still in place has given the Buccaneers some largely unexpected stability. Mayfield is part of this, too.

While the Buccaneers could look at someone else in free agency, such as Kirk Cousins, they are not in a great position to draft a new franchise quarterback. Because they won the division, they are picking in the back half of the first round. By the point the Buccaneers will be on the clock, we could have seen four, maybe even five, quarterbacks drafted. Do you want Bo Nix or Michael Penix Jr. here?

Ultimately, I trust Licht to make a smart decision here. After all, he was the guy who believed in Mayfield when his stock was at a five-year low heading into last free agency. Because he proved to be worth way more than the $4 million he got from the Buccaneers last season, it would not shock me to see him get good money on a new contract. Look for Mayfield to get something like Geno Smith did.

The quickest way for the Buccaneers to stop being a playoff-caliber team is to let Mayfield walk away.

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