TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s officially official – on Monday morning, Baker Mayfield became a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. After he signed his contract, Mayfield shared in a video that he was “ready to get to work.”
“Hey Bucs’ fans, Baker Mayfield here…just signed the contract, ready to get to work. Happy to be here,” the new quarterback said.
On March 15, it was announced that Mayfield would be joining Tampa Bay after weeks of speculation that he could become the next quarterback contender after Tom Brady announced he was retiring “for good” in February.
ESPN’s Senior NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported that the Bucs struck a one-year agreement with the former Rams QB. According to Schefter, the former No. 1 overall pick’s deal is worth up to $8.5 million.
“It was important for me to be in a place that’s stable and knows how to win, how to do it properly,” Mayfield said during his first press conference as a Buccaneer.
Click here to watch Baker Mayfield speak after signing contract
While it could be intimidating coming to an organization that had Tom Brady lead them to a Super Bowl his first year as a starter, Mayfield said he knows he’s not Brady, but that’s not going to stop him from trying to win championships.
“Listen, I’m never going to be Tom Brady,” Mayfield told media. “There’s a reason he has won so many Super Bowls. He’s the greatest of all time, there’s no doubt about that. I’m not going to try and be Tom, I’m going to be me. That’s what’s gotten me to this point, we’re going to do it differently, but that’s what makes this league so special.”
With Mayfield’s signing, the Buccaneers now have two quarterbacks under contract for 2023 – Mayfield and Kyle Trask. Trask looked to be the promising starter for the upcoming season, considering the fact he worked alongside Brady for the three years he was in Tampa.
Although Mayfield has yet to speak with Trask because he was waiting until he was officially signed, the quarterback said that he’s excited to pick the brains of those who worked alongside Brady the past few years.
“It’s an honor to follow up with somebody like that and I’m definitely – the people that have played with him around here, I’m going to pick their brain as to the things he did, there’s no doubt about that. I’m excited,” the quarterback said.
Despite Mayfield spending the remainder of last season with the Los Angeles Rams, he’s knowledgeable when it comes to the NFC, which could be beneficial for Tampa Bay and new offensive coordinator Dave Canales, who came from the Seattle Seahawks.
“I’ve gotten to see things from my journey that’s not exactly how I drew it up, but it’s helped along the way and especially to make a decision like this and I want to go somewhere that we can win right away and this is that place,” Mayfield said.
Mayfield added that within the last year, he’s realized how much he can help players by doing what he does best, which is being a good leader.
“The thing I’ve realized the most in the last year is how I can help with what I’m best at and that’s being a good leader, being infectious, energetic, and even when I’m not playing, helping guys out,” he said.
Baker joined the Rams after they claimed him off waivers on Dec. 6, 2022, but he began the season with the Carolina Panthers.
The 27-year-old started the 2022 season with the Panthers after they acquired him in a trade with the Cleveland Browns last summer. He completed 119 of 206 pass attempts for 1,313 yards with six touchdowns against six interceptions while starting in six of the seven games he played in.
The Cleveland Browns drafted the former Heisman Trophy winner in the 2018 NFL Draft. During the four seasons he spent in Cleveland, he completed 1,185 of 1,924 pass attempts for 14,125 yards with 92 touchdowns and only had 56 interceptions.
During his rookie season, Mayfield set the Browns franchise single-season record for passing yards per game with 266.1.