Ex-Browns QB Baker Mayfield Sends Message on Next Move

Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield may have found himself a long-term home with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Mayfield and the Buccaneers were bounced from the postseason after a 23-17 loss to the Detroit Lions in the Divisional Round. He threw for 349 yards and three touchdowns but also tossed a pair of interceptions, including the game-sealing turnover late in the fourth quarter.

Mayfield and the Bucs defied expectations this season, winning the NFC South and a Wild Card game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The former top pick of the Browns shined, passing for 4,044 yards, 28 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Mayfield posted a quarterback rating of 94.6.
Mayfield will be a free agent this offseason but he hopes to return to Tampa Bay for another run.

“I love this group,” Mayfield said after the loss to the Lions. “I said that all year. And it’s authentic. I mean that. It would mean a lot for me, to bring back a lot of key pieces, to get this back together, to get it to Year 2 in the system, you can make huge strides. I would love that.

“Obviously, who knows how it’s going to play out, but I can’t say enough about this organization and the opportunity they gave me this year. Just thankful, and I hope it works out.”

Mayfield signed a one-year deal with the Bucs this offseason. It had a base value of $4 million but some key incentives. Thanks to his strong play and team success, those incentives netted him an additional $2.85 million.
The Bucs now face a decision on Mayfield — one the Browns had to weigh at one point with the former Heisman winner. Tampa Bay could hand Mayfield a hefty long-term extension, or hit him with the franchise tag. If the Bucs choose the latter, it would come with an estimated $36.3 million price tag for next season.
Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles gave an endorsement of Mayfield after Sunday’s loss, voicing that he has earned the opportunity to return as QB1.

“He most definitely has,” Bowles said. “Obviously, it’s too early to talk about that and business is business, but Baker had a hell of a year. We love him. The guys love him. And we’ll see what the future holds.”
Mayfield also got some support from one of his star receivers, Chris Godwin.

“He fit right in. I think we had bunch of fighters — guys fighting through the same types of things — and I think he came in and fit the mold,” Godwin said. “I think we all love Baker and we have a lot of respect for him. We can’t control the business side of it, but we hope that they’ll be able to do it.”

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.