When starting quarterback Matthew Stafford went down due to injury, the Los Angeles Rams cycled through a couple different quarterbacks. Bryce Perkins and John Wolford gave their best effort, but the one who shined the most was clearly former top overall pick Baker Mayfield.
The Rams claimed Mayfield off waivers after he was released by the Carolina Panthers and two days later he led the Rams to a comeback victory over the Las Vegas Raiders, including a 98-yard game-winning drive. But with Stafford still entrenched as the Rams starter next season, Mayfield was eyeing opportunities in free agency where he could have a chance to start.
And he found that opportunity down in Florida as he reached an agreement on a one-year $8.5 million contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, via ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
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
The deal makes a lot of sense on both sides as Mayfield now looks to be the successor to Tom Brady, who retired this offseason. The Bucs had a major need at quarterback and Mayfield will get the chance to start for a team that still has some offensive firepower in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin and are in a very winnable division.
Mayfield will be competing with Buccaneers second-year quarterback Kyle Trask, whom they selected in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft. The former Rams quarterback said after the final game of last season that he has no doubts he is a starting quarterback in the NFL and now he will get the chance to prove that. In five games with the Rams, Mayfield completed 63.2% of his passes for 850 yards and four touchdowns to two interceptions.
For the Rams, this now leaves them with Stafford as the only quarterback under contract for the 2023 season. There are still some veterans available in free agency that they could choose to bring in with players such as Carson Wentz, Marcus Mariota, Joe Flacco and Jacoby Brissett still out there. They could also look towards the draft and bring in someone they could develop behind Stafford over the next couple years.
Whatever the case may be, the Rams currently have no depth behind their starter who is coming off a season in which he suffered multiple concussions and a spinal cord contusion. The Rams have a lot of decisions to make this offseason, but getting some security behind their quarterback is undoubtedly a need right now.
The Mayfield partnership didn’t last long, but it was fruitful for the Rams as he played well to finish out the season and now nets L.A. a comp pick in 2024.