Xanadu – An idealized place of great or idyllic magnificence and beauty
Baker Mayfield would already be wearing a couple of Browns Super Bowl Rings in a personalized-perfect world; instead, he was jettisoned in favor of the latest big deal at quarterback, Deshaun Watson. Statistically, Mayfield had his best season in Cleveland in the 2020 season, throwing for 26 touchdowns and 8 interceptions and a 95.9 passer rating, and a 62.8% completion rating. Half-way decent numbers for a team with middle-of-the-road or worse aspirations, the Browns were not one of those teams. His future with the team was pretty much etched in stone at that point. The team would begin its search for his replacement. It’s perfectly understandable when the team used a number one overall on the Heisman winner. Mayfield was traded to the Panthers, with nothing coming from that. He moved on in 2022, signing in L.A.. The games he played with the Rams last season showed hope, but he wouldn’t be the man in L.A., with Matt Stafford firmly holding down that role. Mayfield would re-enter free agency this season, desperately hoping for a destination where he could grab the starting gig. Time was beginning to run out for the former overall top pick.
Tampa was an easy choice and checked all the boxes
It has been reported that the Baltimore Ravens had serious interest in signing Mayfield. Lamar Jackson is reportedly on his way out, so that may have been a starting job for him. Quick! Name the Ravens’ top receiver over any of the last 5 seasons. Chances are, unless you are an avid fantasy football player or a fan of the Ravens, you are clueless. Personally, I feel that Lamar Jackson’s passing ability will not be missed in Baltimore any more than the overflowing hospitals during the height of the Pandemic. But Lamar Jackson won an MVP in Baltimore, you might say. Where did that coveted, shiny trophy get those purple birds? What did Jackson do for that team? Absolutely nothing, less than that, actually. The man is an overpaid running back with only average throwing ability. To this day, his first instinct when under pressure is to take off and run. I would rather have Mayfield than Jackson in Tampa. If you want the excitement that he would deliver a Super Bowl: he would not. — moving on back to Mr. Mayfield. In Tampa, all he has to do is beat out a quarterback in Trask, who is basically still a rookie and doesn’t have one regular season start under his belt. (Not his fault, of course). Thankfully, he will have two of the best receivers in the game to help him accomplish this goal. I am not ashamed to say; that I am pulling for Kyle Trask to win the job. It’s not Trask’s fault that he was drafted by a team that put him basically on ice in the regular season: over his first two seasons.
Possibly his last shot at a starting job
Anything can happen in the NFL, but history and good football sense tell us that if he doesn’t make this chance amount to anything, he will surely have the journeyman backup tag slapped on his back for whatever remains of his career. He has put himself in a very good position to make the most of what chance he has left, which is why Tampa offers him a very solid chance to succeed. To him, it must appear to be a city of gold, his own personal Xanadu, if you will. Time, himself, and Kyle Trask are all that stand in his way. The biggest obstacle may very well be the second one. Go Bucs!!
Of note: Mayfield has had seasons of throwing a bunch of interceptions. Sound familiar at all?