Buccaneers QB: Five Potential Replacements for Baker Mayfield


There have been a lot of rumors swirling around about the contract talks between Baker Mayfield and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Both sides have interest in reuniting, but as it often is, money is the sticking point. And the reports are that the two sides aren’t particularly close.

It’s my belief that the two sides eventually come to terms. All signs point to Mayfield returning to the team that helped revitalize his career last year. In terms of chemistry and fit, there is no question that he is a Buccaneer.

However, there is always the chance that Mayfield takes his talents elsewhere. If that’s the case then the Buccaneers need a strong backup plan in place. Here are five potential Baker Mayfield replacements for the Buccaneers if he were to move on.

5) Day Two Rookie

It’s hard for me to justify drafting a quarterback with the needs the Bucs have in the trenches. Between pass rusher and interior offensive line, the priorities are clear with the first two rounds. However, the third round or even moving back up into the second could be an option.

If there is a quarterback that Jason Licht likes at that point, then this could be a move worth making. If someone like Bo Nix from Oregon or Spencer Rattler from South Carolina are still on the board, then I could see them stepping in as a rookie and doing a serviceable job. However, if the top seven or so quarterbacks are already off the board then this plan probably wouldn’t be an option.

4) Mac Jones

Let’s make no mistake, Jones is a limited quarterback. We have seen this during his time in New England after being a first round pick in 2021. He will not wow anyone with his arm strength or his lack of mobility.

However, let’s not forget that this was still the 15th overall pick just a few years ago. He has led his team to the playoffs, been to the pro bowl and won a college national championship at Alabama. There is some ability here to work with, including a good deep ball that could maximize the talents of Mike Evans.

Jones has obviously fallen out of favor in New England, but keep in mind that the Patriots might have been one of the most toxic, abysmally run organizations over the last few years. A fresh start could revive Jones’ career in a similar way we saw with Mayfield last season. 

3) Jacoby Brissett 

With Ryan Fitzpatrick out of the league, Brissett has become the new go-to journeyman quarterback. He has played for five teams in eight seasons with 48 starts and nearly a 2/1 touchdown to interception ratio. In terms of backups and fringe starters, he’s probably the best on the market.

This would be a true bandaid situation for the Bucs. If they want to trust a veteran over an unknown in Kyle Trask, Brissett brings the experience and a proven track record. You know what you’re getting here and that is a guy who can manage the game and not kill your offense.

There is a chance that he could even thrive in Tampa Bay. With the likes of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin and a developing running game, the Buccaneers offer a lot of resources to make any quarterback successful.

2) Sam Howell

In 2022, I advocated that the Bucs draft Sam Howell to be the heir apparent to Tom Brady. He was my top rated quarterback, ahead of Kenny Pickett who went in the first round to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Instead they traded back to draft Logan Hall at the top of the second round and Howell slid down the draft all the way until the 5th round.

Despite that, he got a chance to start last year for the Washington Commanders. The second year quarterback led the league in passing attempts, as well as interceptions and sacks taken. However, he also scored 26 total touchdowns and racked up over 4,000 combined yards. 

This just shows that Howell has the talent to start in this league and could be successful with more support around him. The Bucs can provide that support with better weapons and a coaching staff that won’t throw him to the wolves by making him throw the ball more than any other quarterback in the league. Support Sam Howell and he will prosper in Tampa Bay.

1) Justin Fields

This is the name on everyone’s mind this offseason. Many teams have been rumored to be interested in him, but reports are that the market is smaller than expected. This is surprising for one of the most experienced quarterbacks on the market. 

Fields’ numbers won’t wow you as a passer. In three years as a starter he has just 6,674 passing yards with 40 passing touchdowns and 30 interceptions. However, there are two pieces of context that make him very appealing.

The first is that he is one of the most dynamic running quarterbacks in football. He has 2220 career rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns. I won’t go as far as to say that he is Lamar Jackson with the ball in his hands, but he is not terribly far off from that.

The second is that Fields was thrown into a bad situation with the Chicago Bears. Starting as a rookie, there were limited options in wide receivers to throw to and the offensive line is still a mess to this day. If he were in a situation like the Bucs can provide, I have little doubt that he would show people why he was one of the most highly regarded quarterback prospects in the last decade.

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