Beware Baker Mayfield Playing Risk-Free

Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Baker Mayfield was released by the Carolina Panthers on December 5 of the previous year. The Los Angeles Rams picked him up the next day after he was released. The “F- them picks” Rams opened the 2022 season with a roster that had been decimated due to their hangover from the Super Bowl. They entered their bye week with a record of 3-3 after a 24-10 victory over Carolina, but they went on to lose their next six games. Unfortunately, Matthew Stafford suffered an injury, and John Wolford and Bryce Perkins were not performing up to par. They must have been impressed with Mayfield’s performance in Week 6 since they traded for him on Tuesday and used him in their game against the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday.
Mayfield did not disappoint. On Wednesday, following a travel across the nation, he participated in a condensed practise with the Rams. The following Thursday, he completed 22 of 35 passes for 230 yards and led the game-winning drive. After Los Angeles’ 17-16 victory, Mayfield remarked, “I don’t know if you could write it any better than that.” “Obviously, we’d like to be a little bit more stress-free, but it’s a pretty damn good story,” she said. “It’s a pretty damn good story.”

“What a quick study,” Rams head coach Sean McVay remarked about the quarterback. “He just got here about five minutes ago and figured out a way to be able to do some special things tonight.”

The enjoyment was only temporary. The following week, Green Bay got revenge on Los Angeles by beating them. The following week, the Los Angeles Rams defeated the Denver Broncos by a score of 51-14; however, they went on to lose the following two games. Mayfield’s highest quarterback rating of more over 60 came from the game against Denver. He never threw for more than 230 yards in any game. The final record for the Rams was 5-12. Mayfield entered the league as a free agent and ultimately decided to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Mayfield was selected as the starting quarterback for Tampa Bay’s game against the Minnesota Vikings on Tuesday by head coach Todd Bowles.

Mayfield’s response to the news was, ” I expect to be the starter,” and he expressed this with confidence. “I am well aware of the talents I possess. I am aware of the kind of leader that I am. The time has come to get down to business, so to speak.”
It is also possible that Mayfield will never have another chance to start a regular season game in the NFL.

Every quarterback who has ever played for the Cleveland Browns has a tale to tell. Tim Couch was forced to play with a subpar offensive line. Brady Quinn appeared to be ready for the NFL after his time at Notre Dame, but his potential was never completely realised in the professional game. Johnny Manziel had troubles off the field that prevented him from being the NFL’s version of Johnny Football. In the end, Cleveland was never able to get the quarterback who would have been ideal to centre the organisation around. They obtained Deshaun Watson through a trade and made him their starting quarterback in the previous season.

However, Mayfield’s circumstance appeared to be unique. The former first-overall choice stood 6 feet and one inch tall, and he had guts. He was the winner of the Heisman Trophy and appeared in ads for Progressive. In his third year as a starter for the Browns, he guided the team to the postseason and finished as the runner-up for Rookie of the Year. They won the first round against the Pittsburgh Steelers and concluded the season with an 11-5 record. Since Bill Belichick was still the head coach of Cleveland in 1994, this was the Cavaliers’ first victory in the postseason.

Mayfield was forced to play through an injury in 2021 after the Browns decided to exercise the fifth-year option on his contract. After the Browns had made the trade for Watson, his numbers began to decrease, and he demanded to be traded. He was dealt to the Panthers by Cleveland, and there he challenged with Sam Darnold for the starting job at quarterback. It seemed like a good fit for Mayfield to play for Carolina. He was successful in winning the starting position and was able to put Christian McCaffrey in the backfield while also playing with D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson on the outside. The NFC South was not a particularly formidable division. It’s possible that he found himself in a privileged position.

Mayfield did, however, suffer a severe ankle sprain during Week 5 of the season. He was sidelined for the next week, and when he came back, P.J. Walker was playing third string behind him. Mayfield was on the field for the Browns’ blowout loss to the Bengals in Week 9, and he started again the following week. However, Carolina made the decision to trade McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers, and Darnold was given the starting role beginning in Week 12. Mayfield made his request to be released to the Panthers during their week 13 bye week.
Mayfield signed with the Rams after Carolina’s request was granted. Stafford, who is 35 years old, will continue to start at quarterback for the Rams this season, despite the fact that he led them to a comeback victory over Vegas. Mayfield needed to beat over Kyle Trask, who was Tampa Bay’s second-round pick in 2021, in order to earn the starting job during training camp. After Tom Brady’s departure, he takes over a Tampa Bay Buccaneers club that many experts feel would end up in last place in their division.
It’s possible that Mayfield’s last chance to be a full-time starter in the NFL will come with Tampa Bay, but the Buccaneers don’t have high hopes for themselves. Mayfield has a chance to keep his job if he performs similarly to how he did in his first four seasons and if he can keep the Buccaneers competitive in a division that is not particularly strong. Even though ESPN only gives the Vikings a 70% chance of beating the Buccaneers in Week 1, it’s a game that they absolutely need to win. They face Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers the next week after playing the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday of Week 2 away from home. After that, they will head out on the road to take on Adam Thielen, Bryce Young, and the rest of the Carolina Panthers before hosting Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Mayfield has nothing to lose if the Vikings win their first game, and the Vikings need to win. Even if Mayfield repeats his performance from the previous year and has a good week, but then goes backwards after that, it would still have a significant impact on Minnesota’s season. It is simple to disregard Tampa Bay’s choice to start Mayfield in Week 1, but the Vikings can’t focus on the Philadelphia Eagles because they play them in Week 2. Since Mayfield’s 2020 season, his stock has been steadily declining. Nevertheless, he can cause problems, even if it’s just for a week.