Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sign Quarterback Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield has finally found his home. Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed the former Cleveland Brown, Carolina Panther, and Los Angeles Ram to a three-year, $100 million deal with $50 million guaranteed.

Mayfield joined the Bucs last offseason on a bargain-basement one-year, $4 million deal after flaming out with the Panthers and Rams in 2022. Shockingly, he started all 17 games and delivered a career season, setting personal bests in passing yards (4044) and passing touchdowns (28). The Bucs finished with a 9-8 record, winning the NFC South on tiebreakers, and even managed a dominant 32-9 Wildcard Round win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Presently, Mayfield's new deal makes him the 17th highest-paid quarterback in the league in annual average, right between Jared Goff and Geno Smith. That's a fair valuation on the former first-overall pick. As feel-good as last season was, the Bucs were not a spectacular offense: they ranked 20th in points scored and 23rd in yards gained. In fact, Mayfield's offenses have ranked 20th or worse in points scored in all but one of his six seasons as a pro.

Paying Mayfield substantially more than what he made last year isn't a recipe for improving on what was ultimately only a modestly successful season for the Bucs, but they clearly forged a positive working relationship that's worth extending for another year or two. Unfortunately, every extra dollar spent on Mayfield is a dollar that can no longer be allocated to the rest of the roster. Ultimately, he'll have to be better than he's ever been for the Bucs to make up that difference and become a serious contender in the NFC. That's a risky bet.

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