Mayfield: ‘I’m not going to try and be Tom(Brady)’

On Friday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers agreed to terms with quarterback Baker Mayfield. 

According to reports, it’s a one-year deal that’s worth $8.5 million. 

The number one pick in the 2018 NFL Draft has an opportunity to compete with Kyle Trask to be the man who will replace Tom Brady in Tampa, but according to Mayfield, he’s not trying to be Brady; he’s trying to be himself.

“Listen, I’m never going to be Tom Brady,” Mayfield said as he met the Tampa Bay media on Monday. “There’s a reason he has won so many Super Bowls – he’s the greatest of all time, there’s no doubt about that. I’m not going to try and be Tom; I’m going to be me – that’s what’s gotten me to this point.

“We’re going to do it differently, but that’s what makes this league so special – everybody puts their own touch on it. It’s an honor to follow up somebody like that. The people that have played with him around here, I’m going to pick their brains as to the things he did – there’s no doubt about that. I’m excited. Like I said, it’s an organization that’s seen success, and following a guy like that is special.”

Last season, Mayfield, who the Panthers acquired from the Browns after he spent the first four seasons of his career in Cleveland, started the first five games for Carolina, but he got injured and ultimately lost his job. In total, he would start six games for the Panthers. Eventually, he would be released by Carolina, at his request, and would be signed by the Rams, where he started four games.

Despite his struggles in 2022, the 27-year-old, who came into the NFL with a lot of swagger, says he’s still confident.

“Yeah, I’m still confident,” he said. “I wouldn’t say the last year really humbled me – I learned a lot from it. I still believed in myself – I think that’s the only way I was able to get through it and finish on somewhat of a high note, playing for Los Angeles. I’m thankful for all the experiences I’ve gone through, and that’s what’s gotten me here. I’m ready for the next chapter.”

The highlight of Mayfield’s five-year career was the 2020 season when he led the Browns to an 11-5 record and the playoffs. In that season, he threw 26 touchdown passes with just eight interceptions, and Tampa Bay is hoping he can do that for them in 2023.

Mayfield is worth the risk for the Buccaneers. He’s not that expensive, and he still is young, so a change of scenery may do him some good.