Buccaneers reach deal with Mayfield to fill veteran QB need

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and quarterback Baker Mayfield have reportedly agreed to a one-year contract, a move that gives the former number one overall pick another opportunity to prove himself as a starter and the team a veteran presence following Tom Brady's retirement.

Mayfield, who finished last season with the Los Angeles Rams after being released by the Carolina Panthers in December, will earn $8.5million in 2023 according to multiple reports.

The 2017 Heisman Trophy winner is expected to compete with 2021 second-round pick Kyle Trask for a starting position left vacant when the 45-year-old Brady announced in February he was ending his remarkable 23-year career.

It's been a whirlwind past 12 months for Mayfield, who was displaced as the Cleveland Browns' starter last March following that team's trade for Deshaun Watson and ultimately traded to Carolina in July.

He made just six starts with the Panthers while struggling with injuries and inefficient play, and was benched in midseason before later requesting and being granted his release.

Mayfield's performance improved after being claimed off waivers by the Rams, as he completed 63.8 per cent of his passes while throwing for three touchdowns with two interceptions in four starts.

In 12 overall games in 2022, Mayfield finished with 2,163 passing yards, 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions and a 79.0 passer rating that ranked 30th out of 33 qualified quarterbacks.

Mayfield has made 69 regular-season starts since being taken by the Browns with the top overall choice of the 2018 draft and has compiled 16,288 passing yards, 102 passing touchdowns and 64 interceptions along with a career passer rating of 86.5.

The 27-year-old's best season came in 2020, when he threw for a career-high 26 touchdowns and produced a 95.9 quarterback rating while leading Cleveland to an 11-5 regular-season record and a win over the rival Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wild Card round of the AFC playoffs.

Trask has yet to make an NFL start and owns just one appearance, which came in the 2022 regular-season finale. The Florida product completed three of nine passes for 23 yards in relief of Brady in a loss to the Atlanta Falcons.