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Former No. 1 pick Baker Mayfield and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have agreed on a one-year contract worth up to $8.5 million, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Wednesday.
Mayfield’s deal starts at $4 million, a source told ESPN’s Jenna Laine.
The Buccaneers needed an experienced quarterback with the ability to compete with second-round pick Kyle Trask of the 2021 draft.
Speaking to the NFL group, general manager Jason Licht said the Buccaneers “have a lot of faith in Kyle.” But moving from the third string to a starter and following in the footsteps of seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady would be a big ask for any player, let alone one who saw his first-ever NFL season shots in Week 18.
The Buccaneers also install a new offense under new offensive coordinator Dave Canales, who was largely credited with reviving Geno Smith’s career in Seattle. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Canales’ work had a “remarkable influence” on their quarterbacks.
Mayfield played the final five games of the 2022 season for the Los Angeles Rams, who claimed waivers from the Carolina Panthers on December 6. In those five games, Mayfield completed 63.6% of his passes for 850 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions.
The No. 1 pick in 2018, Mayfield played in the final season of his rookie contract after the Cleveland Browns picked up his fifth-year option in April 2021. The Browns, who acquired Deshaun Watson in a trade with the Houston Texans last offseason, traded Mayfield to the Panthers in July. He played in seven Carolina games before being waived.
At the time of his waiver, Mayfield ranked last in the NFL in Total QBR among qualified quarterbacks with an 18.2 rating.
After the Rams’ final game of the 2022 season, Mayfield said he had no doubts that he was “good enough to be a starting quarterback”.
Mayfield has played for three teams in his first five seasons, becoming just the second player to finish first overall in the Common Draft era (since 1967) according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
In his career, Mayfield has completed 61.4% of his passes for 16,288 yards, 102 touchdowns, and 64 interceptions.
Sarah Barshop of ESPN contributed to this report.