The NFL is currently in a race to get one of the 12 best quarterbacks in the league. It’s even more useful if you can find this quarterback in the draft and keep them on a rookie deal for a few years. The Buccaneers saw the rather part with Tom Brady.
A team that wasn’t capable of even making the playoffs went to being a Super Bowl champion with the main addition being one of the best quarterbacks in the league.
Complacency at the quarterback may have performed in the past. That sequence of thinking is dead now.
In a league that is built around the quarterback and the passing attack, worse than one of the 12 best guys at the position is putting you at a disadvantage. This isn’t to state that teams with schemes and excellent coaching can’t overcome poor quarterback space (49ers), but it is like fighting with an arm tied behind your back.
Baker Mayfield has demonstrated to everyone this.
The Browns had a top-20 quarterback in Mayfield before his wound. That number had a way of fluctuating, but do not pretend that even that standard is very high. Top-20 was fair enough to win a playoff round when the rest team constructed well but that was as far as the Browns were ever going to go.
With good receiving corps, run game, defense, and coaching, the Browns had to make changes at quarterback for one of the better options. Deshaun Watson could be the biggest bust of trade in NFL history if he never makes the field due to his off-field mistakes, but he is undeniably far sounder than Mayfield as a player and immediately makes the Browns one of the best teams in the league.
The Browns must have a better quarterback to be a legitimate contender for the Super Bowl. Even if Watson doesn’t win, he is even better than they had, and that is also a growing trend in the league.
Why sit on a quarterback like Mayfield when Watson stood on the market? Why sit on Sam Darnold or Drew Lock when Baker Mayfield was on the market?
Complacency at the quarterback assignment kills. Being fulfilled with a fringe-top-20 guy when better players enter free agency every season should be an easy way to get fired.
The Buccaneers need to pay close awareness to this as it happens. Mayfield was not better than Watson, but he was better than Darnold. The Panthers got better. There will also be plenty of better players for the Buccaneers than Blaine Gabbert and probably way better players than Kyle Trask too.
It’s still about getting better at the quarterback position. Anyone who forgets this is going to be very disappointed with how their team performs when they don’t adhere to this rule.
We all understand the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set at quarterback heading into the 2022 season.
Following Tom Brady’s statement that he’ll return for the upcoming season, Tampa Bay is back as a bonafide Super Bowl contender. Shortly after he decided to return, multiple key players such as Chris Godwin, Ryan Jensen, Leonard Fournette, and Russell Gage were all either re-signed or marked with the Buccaneers.
The Buccaneers’ backup quarterbacks all decided to re-up and enter the fray, with Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Griffin back for another season in Tampa Bay. That not even saying how 2021 second-round draft pick Kyle Trask will also return.
While there is no uncertainty at quarterback for the Buccaneers entering the upcoming season, there is uncertainty after this season.
The Buccaneers should make a play for the former Brown’s starting quarterback.
As retired NFL general manager Mike Tannenbaum noted recently, Tampa Bay and Mayfield would benefit from having him serve as a backup quarterback to Brady this season.
In this system, Mayfield would learn the Buccaneers’ mean system and be groomed, to take over at quarterback in the event Brady exits or leaves Tampa Bay following the 2022 season.
“Let Baker model for a year and learn as much wisdom from Tom Brady and Byron Leftwich as likely,” Tannenbaum says. “Let him operate this season as an asset in his future and take in all the gifts that Tom has to give in terms of professionalism and preparation. This would be similar to what Mitch Trubisky did this past season with Buffalo.”