If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers want to improve upon their NFC South-winning play in 2024 they will need to re-sign quarterback Baker Mayfield, and the cost to keep him reportedly could be astronomical compared to what he made this season.
Heading into their 2023 campaign, the expectations for the Bucs were much lower than previous years after NFL icon Tom Brady walked away from the franchise and sport last year. When they didn’t replace him with another Pro Bowl QB, and instead went the cost-effective route with Baker Mayfield, most assumed they would be hard-pressed to make the playoffs this season.
However, to the surprise of many, the Heisman Trophy winner delivered the best season of his six-year career under the guidance of new Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Dave Canales. After 18 weeks, the 28-year-old finished in the top 10 for passing yards and touchdowns this season, while also tossing just 10 interceptions despite throwing by far the most passes of his career.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have to pay Baker Mayfield at least $36 million per season in 2024
The veteran QB was a huge part of the team’s success this season and if the offense had a better run game they easily could have had an 11-win season. What is most interesting about the Buccaneers-Mayfield situation is that he is only signed for this year, which means they will have to re-sign him after the season and his new asking price will be miles away from the $4 million he played for in 2023-24.
On Sunday, NFL Media league insider Ian Rapoport spoke about Baker Mayfield’s future in Tampa Bay and reported that both sides have mutual interest. However, he is also looking to cash in and land a “real big-time quarterback contract.”
Rapoport revealed the organization does have the option of using the franchise tag on him if they can’t agree on a contract. In 2024, the franchise tag for QBs is projected to be just over $36 million. While a huge number it would still place him around fifteen in QB pay for 2024. This past season, 36 other signal-callers had a higher average pay rate than Mayfield.
It all means that at the very least he will earn $36 million next season just because it is a fair rate considering his value and what other players in his position are averaging these days.