New details emerge on Baker Mayfield's return to Buccaneers - Sport News

New details emerge on Baker Mayfield’s return to Buccaneers

Baker Mayfield chose to return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this past weekend and did not see what opportunities were available to him in free agency. The Pro Bowl quarterback offered more details as to why.

“Mayfield appreciated the way the Bucs set him up for success last season, not just with former offensive coordinator Dave Canales but with [head coach] Todd Bowles’ leadership and the culture of the veterans around the building,” NFL insider Jeff Howe of The Athletic wrote. “And while Canales left for [the Carolina Panthers], Mayfield is somewhat familiar with new offensive coordinator Liam Coen from their month together with the Los Angeles Rams in 2022.”

New details emerge on Baker Mayfield's return to Buccaneers

Specifically, it was previously reported that Tampa Bay’s hiring of Coen “came on the recommendation of Mayfield.” Mayfield made four starts and played in five games under Coen late in the 2022 season.

On Sunday, ESPN’s Jenna Laine reported that Mayfield’s desire for “organizational stability and the right culture” helped convince him to agree to a reported three-year, $100M contract with a maximum value of $115M. Howe added that “the guaranteed money in the second year of the deal was particularly important from a job security standpoint.” Remember that the Cleveland Browns and Panthers both gave up on Mayfield in 2022 before he completed his cup-of-coffee stint with the Rams.

In short, Mayfield will earn at least $40M, fully guaranteed, even if the Buccaneers look to escape his contract next offseason.

Interestingly, Howe suggested that the Minnesota Vikings could’ve reacted to losing veteran Kirk Cousins to the Atlanta Falcons by offering Mayfield “a low number” that may have caused the Buccaneers to take their contract off the table. Mayfield reportedly had “supporters” from within the New England Patriots ahead of the start of the NFL’s legal tampering portion of free agency on Monday, but Howe wrote that “a union between the sides just didn’t make sense.”

New England seems prepared to make Jacoby Brissett a bridge option at the position before the club spends the third overall pick of this year’s draft on a rookie quarterback.

The numbers attached to Mayfield’s contract indicate he’ll need to show his first season with the Buccaneers wasn’t a fluke. If he guides the club to a fifth consecutive playoff appearance in the fall, his camp could spend next winter finalizing the terms of an extension for his deal.

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