Report: Buccaneers and Mayfield Are “Not Close” on New Deal


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and quarterback Baker Mayfield are “not close” in re-signing the 28-year-old quarterback. Per Pewter Report’s Scott Reynolds have made “some progress” but are “not close”.

Reynolds reports progress has been made since the NFL Scouting Combine, but that both sides started “very far apart”. Pewter Report goes on to say are nearly $20 million apart and that Mayfield’s representatives are looking for roughly $44 million per season.

This sounds like Mayfield’s camp is looking for a deal north of what the New York Giants paid Daniel Jones. While the Buccaneers are looking at his value to be more in line with the Seattle Seahawks Geno Smith contract of $25 million per year.

Jeremy Morrow recently dropped a series of articles “Re-Sign or Let Walk” covering the Buccaneers pending free agents. Here’s what he had to say about Mayfield.

After being written off, underrated, and marked as damaged goods Baker Mayfield came back with vengeance. Shutting down the doubters and proving he’s a starter in this league Baker finds himself a free agent. This leaves the Buccaneers with a huge decision to make. One that means opening up the bank and setting the quarterback situation strait for the next three to four years.

Currently Spotrac has Baker valued at a four year $108 million dollar contract. A seemingly fair valuation putting him squarely in the $27 million dollar a year range. For that number two key players are used to compare and create this valuation. Those are Geno Smith’s and his three year $75 million dollar contract and Jimmy Garoppolo’s 3 year $72 million dollar contract. Fair comparison in terms of a comeback player at quarterback but I feel this valuation is lower than he’ll be offered if he hits free agency.

Baker Stands Alone

When you compare that to Baker’s trajectory to those above they don’t run truly parallel. Baker, also a first round pick, played fairly well to begin his career with the Browns. Showing some consistency, over 20 touchdowns for his first three seasons, and throwing for over 3,000 yards in each season with the Browns.

During the injury season, his fourth in Cleveland, he gutted through an injury. His tenacity showed some through. Something neither of the other two quarterbacks were able to do. Unfortunately the Browns saw his performance, though they knew he was injured, as an opportunity to persuadably trade for an upgrade. Closing out a portion of his career where he willed the Browns to the playoffs and brought them their first post season win in a very long time.

The year of bouncing from the dysfunctional Browns to the worse Panthers didn’t fair well for Baker. I find it hard to hold against Baker anything that happened in one of the most mismanaged teams in the league. One with no offensive identity or direction. Luckily he asked for his release and it was granted. The next day he was with the Rams and two days later he was starting. Now, it’s hard enough to learn a full play book over the entirety of the offseason so expecting him to do so for the Rams was far fetched. But he he played and didn’t play terribly.

Now after a season with a stable team with time to understand the playbook Baker came through. He had grit, moxy, and won over the locker room. Neither of the comparisons above have a track record like that compares or has been known for this level of leadership.

Final Thought

Given the outside pressure of other teams trying to find a quarterback and the interest that Baker may see from after this year’s performance bumps up his pirce. The Buccaneers would need to likely offer more than what Spotrac has assessed. So instead of the $27.1 million I could see a bump to the $30 to $32 million a year range with a four year contract.

Mutual interest could very well play a role though. Baker has already stated if he came back it would have to be with Mike Evans. If that’s the case it could be that Baker comes back with a more cap friendly contract so long as it leaves money in place to be used for Mike Evans. Maybe that would push his price to the level that Spotrac assess. But the signings may have to be sequential. Evans would need to be signed first for Baker to consider. Or maybe they must happen simultaneously. As in both players come in for talks and walk out with contracts considering each other. Now, I’m not entirely sure Evans contract is dependent on Baker and Jason Licht should be ready to open the checkbook for him.

At the end of the day I believe Baker will be a Buccaneer next season. One issue here is that it needs to happen in early February. Due to the contract at hand if not then, even if resigned, dead money hits the cap.

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