Tampa Bay Buccaneers Finally Name Week 1 Starting Quarterback

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have put an end to their quarterback competition, at least for now. Head coach Todd Bowles announced that Baker Mayfield will start the team's season opener against the Minnesota Vikings. Mayfield had been embroiled in a camp battle with third-year passer Kyle Trask, who the Bucs took 64th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. The two had reportedly struggled in early practices, but Mayfield has evidently separated himself of late.

As the former first overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, Mayfield remains a high-profile player in the league, but his bargain-basement one-year, $4 million deal with the Bucs speaks to how far he's fallen in coaching circles. He joins the Bucs this offseason after flaming out with the Cleveland Browns, Carolina Panthers, and Los Angeles Rams and netting only 5.63 net yards per attempt over his last two seasons.

As for Trask, the Bucs have all but conceded now they don't see him as a future starter. He compiled 7386 passing yards, 69 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions over a solid college career at Florida but has yet to show much in the pros. He has completed three of his nine career passes so far, and at this rate, he may not have a chance at many more.

Mayfield has enormous shoes to fill. After joining the Bucs in 2020, former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady led Tampa to its greatest two-year run in franchise history, setting franchise records for points scored in consecutive seasons and delivering a huge win in Super Bowl LV. Prior to Brady's arrival, the Bucs had missed the playoffs for 12 consecutive years. Barring a Comeback Player of the Year bid from Mayfield, the Bucs likely have more lean years ahead.
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