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Baker Mayfield no longer a lock to re-sign with Tampa Bay Buccaneers as sleeper team emerges

Baker Mayfield
Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

After Tom Brady retired again, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were left scrambling for a new starting quarterback last offseason. The decision to sign Baker Mayfield wound up being one of the best free agency signings in Buccaneers team history.

Related: Where does Baker Mayfield rank among NFL starting QBs today?

Not only did the Buccaneers convince Mayfield to sign for a fraction of the typical cost for an NFL starting QB at $4 million, but he ended up leading them back to the playoffs and even got a win in the Wild Card round. Since he only signed a one-year contract, now it’s time for Mayfield to get the raise he deserves, and it may not come with the Buccaneers.

Atlanta Falcons could get involved in Baker Mayfield negotiations

baker mayfield
Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The expectation was that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would do everything they could to re-sign the former No. 1 overall pick this offseason. Yet, now ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler is indicating that Baker Mayfield’s return to Tampa Bay may not be automatic anymore.

“The feeling is that they want to get something done. They’re going to be talking. They’re hoping to re-sign Mike Evans and Baker Mayfield but it’s not a slam dunk.”

“This is a guy who’s going to have a pretty strong market here. You look at several teams that are going to want to get in on Mayfield, talk to him about potentially playing. You look at Atlanta as a team that definitely needs a quarterback. They passed on him last year, maybe they’ll try to right that wrong.”

NFL insider Jeremy Fowler on Baker Mayfield’s free agency

The Atlanta Falcons, you say? The same Falcons who are NFC South division rivals with the Bucs? It would appear to be a perfect landing spot if Mayfield doesn’t get the contract he desires from Tampa Bay.

Of course, this could all be more smokescreens, possibly even by Mayfield’s camp, trying to drive up the price of their client. Either way, expect Mayfield’s salary to drastically increase next season.

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