Tampa Bay Buccaneers have Named their Starter
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have named Baker Mayfield as their starting quarterback for the upcoming season. Head Coach Todd Bowles made the announcement on Tuesday, bringing an end to Mayfield's competition with third-year quarterback Kyle Trask. Mayfield, who was selected first overall in the 2018 draft by the Cleveland Browns, has been a starter in the league for five years and will be making his fifth opening-day start.
Mayfield and Trask both performed well during the first two games of the preseason, with Mayfield completing eight of nine passes for 63 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions in Week One, while Trask completed 20 of 28 passes for 218 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions in Week Two. Mayfield did not play against the New York Jets.
Mayfield started six games for the Carolina Panthers last season before being waived and claimed by the Los Angeles Rams, where he started another four games. In all, he has played in 72 regular-season games with 69 starts, compiling a 31-38 record as a starter. He also started two postseason games for the Browns in 2020, winning one.
Mayfield's career numbers include a 61.4% completion percentage, 16,288 passing yards, and a 102-64 touchdown-interception ratio. He had his best season so far with Cleveland in 2020, throwing for 222.7 yards per game, 26 touchdowns, and eight interceptions, and helping Cleveland to an 11-5 record. The Browns won their first playoff game in 26 years, beating the Pittsburgh Steelers, 48-37, before falling to the eventual AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs, 22-17.
Mayfield will be the first quarterback other than Tom Brady to start for the Buccaneers since Brady's arrival as a free agent in 2020. The Buccaneers won a Super Bowl and two NFC South titles during Brady's tenure with the team, but the seven-time NFL champion retired in January. As the season approaches, fans and analysts will be keeping a close eye on Mayfield and the Buccaneers to see how they fare without Brady.