TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Ahead of the Buccaneers’ final preseason game Saturday, head coach Todd Bowles announced the team’s starting quarterback after months of competition between Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask.
Following Tuesday’s training camp practice, Bowles announced that NFL veteran Baker Mayfield will lead Tampa Bay this season.
“Baker is our starting quarterback. Kyle is number two,” Bowles said. “We love everything Kyle has done and he’s gotten leaps and bounds better – and he has in the spring, and he’s continuing to get better. We’re excited about him. Baker is our guy right now – experience-wise and understanding the playbook just a little bit better. Kyle is on the come [up] but we like both guys, we like where we’re at.”
Mayfield, who signed a one-year contract worth up to $8.5 million in March, has only appeared in one preseason game. During the preseason opener, Mayfield played a little over a quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers ultimately won the game 27-17, as penalties kept the Bucs down.
While Mayfield was named the starter, both he and Kyle Trask were given reps with the first-team offense. Trask also started in the Bucs’ second preseason game at MetLife Stadium against the New York Jets.
The Bucs defeated the Jets, but when quarterback John Wolford got carted off the field during the fourth quarter, Trask was told to suit up and return to the field, indicating that Mayfield had won the QB competition. The former No. 1 draft pick did not play last weekend.
“Coach Bowles came up to me this morning and he told me that he had talked to Kyle already and he informed me that we’re going to roll with me [and to] continue making smart decisions and go from there,” Mayfield said following the announcement Tuesday.” Now, I’ve just got to lead like I know how and the real thing is right around the corner. It’s an exciting time.”
Mayfield was selected as the No. 1 overall pick by the Cleveland Browns in 2018, signing a four-year contract with the team. Following his time in Cleveland, Mayfield spent the 2022 season with the Carolina Panthers and the Los Angeles Rams before landing in Tampa Bay.
The Bucs’ final preseason game kicks off this Saturday with a matchup between the Baltimore Ravens at Raymond James Stadium at 7 p.m.
Fans can watch the game live only on WFLA News Channel 8, Your Official Bucs Station, or follow along with live updates online.