If you have kept up with the things I’ve written over the last three seasons, you know that I’m anything but vanilla when it comes to the Buccaneer — Not a whole lot of walking on the fence with this writer. So I don’t mind telling you that every time I hear it on the news, or see it in the paper or on social media, the name Baker Mayfield makes me cringe. Fans calling out for One Buc to do everything possible to trade for him makes my stomach turn. So, I’m not a fan.
I hear fans talking about the fact he’s been to the playoffs, two games in fact, and actually won one of them. Well, guess what; he’s got the exact same playoff record as Tim Tebow. Baker won the Heisman; many might say, again I say, so did Tebow. That hurt to say because I bleed orange and blue, but facts are facts. Mayfield has been in the league now for four seasons. In two of those seasons, he threw almost as many interceptions as he did touchdowns: 2019- 22td’s vs. 21int’s. 2021- 17td’s vs 13int’s. Do I even have to bring up a recent Bucs quarterback’s name following that last sentence? So what you get with Mayfield is middle of the road, ho-hum, journeyman, at best, and that’s with some pretty good receivers at his disposal. There was never any kind of connection between him and Odell Beckham Jr. or anyone else that stood out. The Browns had most of their good games when their running backs were leading the way. He’s a player that can get you some wins, maybe even get you into the playoffs with an early exit, but that’s about it.
The powers that be in Cleveland provided Mayfield with stars all around to help him to the next level — yet he was not able to take that step. Sometimes a quarterback can find himself in a position where all that he has to really do is not screw it all up (Baltimore – Trent Dilfer). Those teams are few and far between. Back to reality; teams need their quarterbacks to shine, to lead the way. At the very least, you need that player to step up in games and shoulder the responsibility of a win when the norm for that team isn’t producing — that’s all the Colts needed from Carson Wentz last season. They needed Wentz to step up when Jonathan Taylor had an off game and take the lead. He couldn’t provide that, and the Colts missed the playoffs in a season when they had the NFL Rushing Leader in Taylor. You notice the Wentz experiment abruptly ended after only one season. Wentz was also rumored to have had some issues in the locker room in Indianapolis. One thing is for sure, mental issues wouldn’t have mattered much had Wentz performed and helped the Colts make the postseason.
My point is that mediocre doesn’t cut it, and really, that is the best thing you can say about Mayfield up until this point in time. I would go with the potential of Kyle Trask versus what we already know about Baker Mayfield any day. It’s surprising to me that so many fans would rather go with Mayfield when Brady is gone. Then again, with so many Seminole fans on board the good ship Buccaneer, maybe it is not that surprising. Mayfield got his chance over four complete seasons to run a team — to be “The Man” — and he did not produce to an acceptable level. How about we give Kyle Trask just half that time to show what he can do here for our team? Even with Tom Brady at quarterback, we couldn’t get back to the big game in his second season as a Buc. Sometimes a team needs some time to regroup and prosper again. Patience is a quality that you would think all Buccaneer fans would have learned now — apparently not! Go Bucs!!