Buccaneers, Baker Mayfield Engaged In “Positive” Negotiations

MARCH 7: Laine reports the sides have made slight progress in contract talks, meaning an agreement could still be reached before free agency. The legal tampering window opens on March 11, meaning that is the earliest point at which Mayfield could begin speaking with other teams and testing his market. This situation will thus remain worth watching closely over the coming days.

MARCH 4: The Buccaneers accomplished one of their major offseason goals today, as the team agreed to a new contract with star wideout Mike Evans. Now, the front office will shift focus to the quarterback position, and it sounds like negotiations are going well with their 2023 starter.

[RELATED: Buccaneers, Mike Evans Agree To Deal]

According to ESPN’s Jenna Laine, the Buccaneers and Baker Mayfield‘s camp started discussing a new deal at the combine, with negotiations described as “positive.” In fact, both sides are so motivated to sign a new deal that Mayfield might not even hit free agency.

General manager Jason Licht recently made it clear that Mayfield was the team’s top option at the position. When asked about the quarterback draft class, the GM admitted that the team’s “focus is on signing Baker.” Mayfield has also stated a desire to continue his career in Tampa Bay. After all, it was the Buccaneers who took a chance on him last offseason and allowed him to revive his career.

Further, Mayfield values the “high degree of organizational stability,” even with offensive coordinator Dave Canales having left to become the Panthers head coach. As Laine points out, Mayfield has also been looking to settle down with one organization after having spent time with four different teams between 2021 and 2023.

To top it all off, Mayfield made it clear that Evans’ impending free agency would play a role in his decision. The quarterback previously stated that “[i]f I’m back, I want Mike back” (via Laine), and with the wideout having agreed to a new deal, it appears that Mayfield’s demands have been met.

Of course, as is the case with many free agents, money will also be a factor. While the former first-overall pick is motivated to stick with the Buccaneers, he isn’t willing to give the organization a “hometown discount,” per Dianna Russini of The Athletic. That would leave the door open for potential suitors like the Falcons to swoop in with an offer that Mayfield can’t refuse, and it only reinforces why the Buccaneers may look to get a deal done before the start of free agency.

After signing a one-year deal with the Buccaneers last offseason, Mayfield proceeded to guide his squad to a 9-8 record and a playoff victory. Mayfield finished the regular season having set new career highs in completion percentage (64.3), passing yards (4,044), and touchdowns (28).

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