The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a huge quarterback void following Tom Brady’s retirement.
While their reported targets are a significant step down from the seven-time Super Bowl champion, Tampa Bay could at least sign a veteran to compete for the starting role.
According to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, the Buccaneers are interested in free agents Baker Mayfield and Jacoby Brissett.
Bucs have an interest in free agents Baker Mayfield of the Rams, Jacoby Brissett of the Browns and even Blaine Gabbert, who backed up Brady in Tampa Bay. Drew Lock would seem a good fit from Seattle but there will be a big push for Mayfield as we address this a.m. https://t.co/OufQPVfvjT
— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) March 12, 2023
They’re also interested in retaining Blaine Gabbert, who spent the 2022 season as Brady’s backup. Stroud speculated that Drew Lock could also be a good fit, but he expects “a big push” for Mayfield. Ian Rapoport also said Sunday that the Bucs are expected to pursue Mayfield once free agency opens Wednesday.
The Cleveland Browns finalized a bitter break-up by sending the former No. 1 pick to the Carolina Panthers last offseason. Mayfield posted a 74.4 quarterback rating in seven underwhelming games before getting released.
Yet Mayfield performed better on the Los Angeles Rams, repairing the quarterback rating right near his career norm at 86.4. He led them on a game-winning 98-yard drive days after joining the team.
Mayfield’s former team signed Jacoby Brissett to start while Deshaun Watson served an 11-game suspension. He held his own for the Browns, averaging 7.1 yards per pass with a 64 percent completion rate. Gabbert hasn’t started an NFL game since 2018, so it seems unlikely he’d return to Tampa Bay with a significant chance of earning the starting job.
However, Mayfield or Brissett would presumably compete with Kyle Trask for the QB1 role.