In 2022, Tom Brady will play under center for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in hopes of winning his millionth Super Bowl. That’s what it feels like, anyway. Brady faked everyone out, including his family, when he announced his retirement at the end of the 2021 season, and who knows if 2022 will be his last year in the league. Just get your ring and leave, please.
Regardless, the Bucs should be preparing a contingency plan for life without Brady, and who better to fill his role than good ol’ former Browns QB Baker Mayfield?
NFL analyst Dan Orlovsky certainly thinks it’s a fine idea.
Mayfield would probably reject the idea of being a non-starter in 2022, but with the quarterback market quickly shrinking, he may not have much of a choice. Odds are that Tampa won’t take a $20 million cap hit just to bring on a backup quarterback, but no harm in a little fantasy.
New Orleans Saints would jump for joy if Baker Mayfield joins Tampa in 2022
Why is this such a good thing, you ask? Not to kick someone who’s down, but Mayfield playing in Tampa could guarantee the Saints the NFC South title for years to come.
Mayfield, otherwise known as “the guy from those insurance commercials”, has failed to live up to his first-round potential in his four years in Cleveland, and while he’s not a typical NFL backup, he’s arguably the most underwhelming starting-caliber quarterback in the league. Since he was drafted in 2018, Mayfield has recorded the most interceptions of any QB (56), has never thrown for 4,000 yards in a season, and struggled to lead the Browns to any semblance of success. Three of his four years on the Browns ended in losing regular season records, and he made the playoffs just once in 2020.
Despite being surrounded by one of the best offensive lines in football, not to mention a strong running attack in Nick Chubb and elite wideouts like Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr., Mayfield continued to flounder, year after year. The Browns never saw calculated, stable improvement in Mayfield’s quarterback play, and we doubt Bruce Arians and the Bucs can get much more out of him.
While we wouldn’t go so far to call him a “child”, Mayfield’s perennial inconsistency, injury history, lack of a dominant pocket presence makes him a truly undesirable quarterback for any competitive franchise.
If Brady ever retires, Mayfield would drive the Bucs into the ground, and the Saints could retake the NFC South, assuming Jameis Winston’s recovery goes well and their offensive and defensive nuclei remain intact.
So go ahead, Tampa. Trade a mid-round pick for Mayfield and see where it goes. We double-dare you.