In wake of Tom Brady’s retirement, the Buccaneers are expected to peruse the quarterback market when NFL free agency kicks off this week.
Tampa Bay reportedly has “a few guys” it will kick the tires on, but its primary target might be a signal-caller whose stock dipped in recent years.
According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, the Bucs are set to target Baker Mayfield as a potential starting quarterback option. Although there are better options out there, like Jimmy Garoppolo, Mayfield “could wind up making the most sense from a fit and financial standpoint,” per Rapoport’s colleague, Mike Garafolo. Should Mayfield take his talents to Central Florida, he would compete for the top job with 2021 second-round pick Kyle Trask, who Tampa Bay reportedly “likes a lot.”
Mayfield is coming off a roller-coaster 2022 season. The Cleveland Browns, who drafted Mayfield No. 1 overall in 2018, traded the 27-year-old to the Panthers before the start of the campaign only for Carolina to release him in early December. Mayfield finished the season with the Rams, throwing for 850 yards with four touchdowns across five games in Los Angeles.
The Bucs can start talking to Mayfield on Monday when the NFL’s legal tampering period opens. If the sides arrange an agreement, a contract can be finalized Wednesday upon the start of the new league year.