On day three of free agency, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers addressed the quarterback position by signing Baker Mayfield. This isn’t the big Lamar Jackson news everyone’s waiting on, but the former number-one pick heading to the Buccaneers is impactful nonetheless.
Former No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield reached agreement today on a one-year deal worth up to $8.5 million with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, per sources. Mayfield is now in line to be Tom Brady’s successor. pic.twitter.com/2ZldEPxHY8— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 15, 2023
According to Adam Schefter, Mayfield agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $8.5 million with the Buccaneers. However, it’s been reported by Ian Rapoport that Mayfield will still have to beat out Kyle Trask for that starting spot.
Mayfield was the number one pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and, since then, has thrown for 102 touchdowns with 62 interceptions.
Buccaneers Quarterback Competition
Unlike Jimmy Garoppolo’s signing, Mayfield isn’t for sure the starting quarterback. Mayfield is signing for only one year, so the Buccaneers aren’t committing to him long-term.
Nevertheless, Mayfield has the pedigree and has never been in a great situation his whole career. With some solid weapons around him, he finally has a chance to put the league on notice.
Baker Mayfield: Stock Up
Even though Mayfield will be battling it out with Trask in training camp, it seems almost sure that Mayfield will start. Trask has never thrown a touchdown in the NFL, so it’s hard to evaluate him, but it’s unlikely he’s a starting-caliber quarterback. While Trask was a former second-round pick and sat under Tom Brady, this move by the Buccaneers tells me that they have little confidence in him.
In his time as a starter, Mayfield has been a serviceable starter in a Superflex format, averaging 14 points per game. In Mayfield’s best season, his rookie year, he averaged 17.2 PPG and showed flashes of being a good quarterback.
Having a starting quarterback is extremely important in a Superflex league. I would buy Mayfield for cheap from owners who are holding out hope for Trask; if you get an owner who doesn’t value Mayfield as a starter, buy him immediately. There’s still a possibility Trask starts, but when everything is all said and done, I believe Mayfield will be the Buccaneer’s week one starting quarterback.
Mike Evans: Stock Stays The Same
Overall the value of these wide receivers will go down after moving on from Brady. Brady didn’t have a phenomenal 2022 season from an NFL perspective but still provided an insane amount of volume to this offense with 4,694 yards and 29 touchdowns. The only reason I have Evans’ value staying the same is that he’s a deep threat which matches Mayfield’s strengths.
The overall passing volume and efficiency will decrease, but Evans should be targeted a lot deep down the field. In Mayfield’s first season, he had an average passer rating of 98.13 on throws 20-plus yards down the field. This will benefit Evans and help him retain his value next season.
Chris Godwin: Stock Slightly Down
As mentioned above, the quarterback play and volume from Brady to Mayfield will be a downgrade. This isn’t the worst situation for Godwin, but it’s far from ideal.
Godwin’s short-term value should be around WR19 on a PPG basis this upcoming season after a wide receiver 15 finish in 2022. This isn’t the end of the world, as it’s not a significant dropoff, and Godwin is still 27 years old.
Rachaad White: Stock Slightly Down
White was a great passing-catching back last year with 58 targets; however, this will decrease slightly. Brady has been known for targeting his running backs heavily over his career. For example, in 2021, Leonard Fournette had 84 targets.
Mayfield still targets his running backs a good amount, as Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt combined for 56 targets in 2020. White will likely be the lead back next season, but downgrading from Brady to Mayfield drops his stock slightly.
Kyle Trask: Down
It should be rather obvious that the signing of Mayfield isn’t good for Trask. While it was in the range of outcomes that the Buccaneers didn’t address the quarterback position, it was never likely.
Touching on what was already said above, this move shows that the Buccaneers lack confidence in Trask. It’s much more likely that the former number-one overall pick, who has shown flashes at the NFL level, will get the nod over a second-round pick with no NFL touchdowns.
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