Baker Mayfield Rumored to Join AFC East Team from Buccaneers

NFL's Offseason Sees Potential Quarterback Shakeup Looming

by Zain ul Abedin
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Baker Mayfield Rumored to Join AFC East Team from Buccaneers
© Cindy Ord/Getty Images

In a notable development within the NFL landscape, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler has recently highlighted the New England Patriots as a potential new home for quarterback Baker Mayfield, should he enter free agency next month. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, despite being the front-runners in retaining Mayfield's services, face the unpredictable nature of the free agency period.

Fowler's report sheds light on the intricate dynamics at play. The Patriots' revamped leadership, including Eliot Wolf and Alonzo Highsmith, previously integral to the Cleveland Browns' management, hold Mayfield in high esteem.

Their history with Mayfield dates back to his first overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, underlining a longstanding belief in his capabilities. Mayfield's tenure with the Buccaneers has been nothing short of a revival, positioning him as a strong contender for the Comeback Player of the Year award.

His impressive performance under then-offensive coordinator Dave Canales has been pivotal in the team's decision-making, particularly influencing the appointment of Liam Coen following Canales' transition to head coach for the Carolina Panthers.

Mayfield's Future Uncertain

The Patriots, under the leadership of new head coach Jerod Mayo, appear poised for a significant shift at the quarterback position. Moving on from 2021 first-round draft pick Mac Jones, the team is reportedly considering Mayfield as a top option.

This strategic move could free up their No. 3 overall draft pick for a dynamic playmaker, with wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. from Ohio State being a prime target. CBS Sports' Chris Trapasso, in his latest mock draft, anticipates Harrison joining the Patriots through this high-value selection.

While Mayfield's sentiments towards his season with Tampa Bay have been overwhelmingly positive, the 28-year-old quarterback's future remains a subject of speculation. Connections have been drawn to a possible move to the Atlanta Falcons, yet the Buccaneers' General Manager Jason Licht retains the option to secure Mayfield's rights for 2024 using the franchise tag before the March 5 deadline.

Sports analysts, including Gilberto Manzano of Sports Illustrated and Robert Zeglinski of USA Today's For The Win, have underscored Mayfield as a likely candidate for tagging if a new deal remains unsigned by the deadline.

Zeglinski, in particular, asserts the unlikelihood of Mayfield's departure from Tampa Bay's sidelines in 2024. This unfolding scenario in the NFL promises to be a critical storyline as teams strategize for the upcoming season.

Baker Mayfield Buccaneers
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