Free Agency 2024: Insider notes on Baker Mayfield’s market, QB has interest from another NFC franchise

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Free Agency 2024: Insider notes on Baker Mayfield’s market, QB has interest from another NFC franchise

Will Baker Mayfield stay in Tampa Bay? While much of the talk about the quarterback position centers on the top three players in this year’s draft as well as the upcoming trade of Justin Fields, the future of Baker Mayfield has been a big topic here at the combine.

The market for quarterback Baker Mayfield is heating up. The Buccaneers are working to bring him back to Tampa Bay, and other suitors have lined up. In the past, I’ve reported that the expectations are Mayfield will sign a deal in the area of $40 million annually. The numbers being thrown around here at the combine are $34-$36 million, though no official offers have been made.

And while many believe that’s too much for Mayfield, a $40 million contract for Mayfield today will be dwarfed by the contracts handed to other signal-callers over the next year, as I’ve noted in past articles.

Jordan Love of the Green Bay Packers, the Miami Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa, and the San Francisco 49ers’ Brock Purdy will eventually sign deals over the next 12-15 months that will make Mayfield’s contract look like a bargain. The Cowboys’ Dak Prescott is also in line for a massive bump in pay, which is expected to dwarf any deal Mayfield agrees to.

Baker Mayfield could be pursued by Buccaneers' rival

Baker Mayfield: Detroit Lions vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Baker Mayfield: Detroit Lions vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

It will come down to Mayfield’s discretion and where he wants to play. Re-signing Mike Evans will go a long way in helping to bring Mayfield back to the Bucs. The question is whether Tampa will try to get Mayfield at a discounted rate, as they did last year.

After finishing the 2022 season with the Los Angeles Rams, Mayfield signed a one-year deal with Tampa Bay for $4 million. He then proceeded to lead the Bucs into the second round of the playoffs after soundly defeating the Philadelphia Eagles during the Wild Card round.

Of those other suitors for Mayfield, I can confirm one is the Atlanta Falcons, who I mentioned several weeks ago as a possibility. The Falcons have been linked to Justin Fields, and if a trade is not completed with the Chicago Bears soon after the combine, I expect Mayfield to be at the top of their wish list.

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Edited by Tony Pauline