“Baker Is Our Guy” | QB-Strapped Tampa Bay Buccaneers Throw Life Preserver To Former No. 1 Pick Baker Mayfield As Post Tom Brady Era Begins

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles announced on Tuesday that 2018 No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield has been named team’s starting quarterback.

The news doesn’t really come as a surprise with Mayfield up against 2021 second-round pick Kyle Trask.

Mayfield probably won the job on experience, and the former Heisman Trophy winner knows this is likely his last chance to be a starter in the league after failed stints with the Browns, Rams and Panthers. 

The Buccaneers enter into a new era with legendary quarterback Tom Brady retiring for good. The team is looking for his heir apparent, and Mayfield will get the first crack at it.

During Tuesday’s announcement, the aforementioned Bowles sounded as if he was torn on the decision, but again Mayfield’s experience won out with a roster that believes it’s still good enough to compete for a division title and even make a run in the playoffs. 

Bowles Commends Trask But Chooses Baker

“Baker’s our starting quarterback, Kyle’s our No. 2,” Bowles said. “We love everything Kyle has done. And he’s gotten leaps and bounds better than he was in the spring and he’s continuing to get better and we’re excited about him. But Baker’s our guy right now — experience-wise and just understanding the playbook just a little bit better. But, Kyle’s on the come-up. But we like both guys. We like where we’re at. Baker’s [No.1], Kyle’s [No.2].”

With veteran receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin still playing at a high level, the Bucs probably feel as if Mayfield gives them the best chance to be successful right now. But that’s not to say that if Mayfield struggles as he has in his three previous stops outside of his 2020 season, when he led the Browns to 11 wins and a playoff win over the archrival Pittsburgh Steelers, he won’t be replaced. 

Mayfield Ready To Lead? 

After hearing that he would be the team’s starter, Mayfield, who despite his struggles has never lacked confidence, discussed the move with reporters. 

“Now, I’ve just got to lead like I know how, and the real thing is right around the corner,” Mayfield said. “It’s an exciting time.”

“I expect to be the starter,” Mayfield said. “I know how talented I am. I know what type of leader I am. Now it’s time for the real thing. We’re about to have the real games and everybody’s excited here.”

In a very winnable NFC South division, the play of Mayfield could be the deciding factor as to who wins the division and hosts a playoff game this season. 

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