Buccaneers Release Baker Mayfield, Opens Free Agency

Buccaneers and Mayfield at a pivotal offseason crossroads.

by Nouman Rasool
Buccaneers Release Baker Mayfield, Opens Free Agency
© Cindy Ord/Getty Images

In a turn of events that has stirred considerable buzz within the NFL community, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have opted not to apply their franchise tag to quarterback Baker Mayfield, setting the stage for his entrance into unrestricted free agency.

This decision, first reported by Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, follows what was undeniably Mayfield's most impressive season to date. The 2023 campaign saw him reach new professional heights, amassing a career-best 4,044 passing yards along with 28 touchdowns, all while donning the Buccaneers' colors.

The choice to forgo the franchise tag, which would have secured Mayfield's services for another year at a steep price tag of approximately $36.3 million, underscores a pivotal moment for both the player and the franchise.

As the Buccaneers deliberate on their quarterback strategy for 2024, the potential re-signing of Mayfield now looms as a critical offseason maneuver.

Baker Mayfield-Bucs Partnership Prospects

Despite the uncertainty, the mutual interest between Mayfield and the Buccaneers in continuing their partnership is palpable.

Stroud's coverage highlights the Buccaneers' expressed intent to negotiate Mayfield's return, complemented by Mayfield's own inclination to remain with the team. This ongoing saga gains an additional layer of intrigue with the Buccaneers' recent acquisition of Liam Coen as offensive coordinator.

Coen, whose previous tenure with the Kentucky Wildcats and a stint as the Rams' passing game coordinator, has a history with Mayfield that could prove influential in the quarterback's decision-making process. As anticipation builds within the NFL sphere, the strategic maneuvers of the Buccaneers are keenly observed, sparking a flurry of speculation and diverse opinions across various social media channels..

The decision not to franchise tag Mayfield is both a gamble and a testament to the fluid nature of professional football, where player loyalty and team dynamics are continually tested. The coming weeks are set to reveal whether this calculated risk will result in Mayfield's return to Tampa Bay or mark the beginning of a new chapter in his career elsewhere.

Buccaneers Baker Mayfield