By CJ Carlson
Baker Mayfield didn’t do very well with the Carolina Panthers. In fact, it made many believe that his career was never going to be able to recover. Apparently, one unnamed Panthers player thinks that the problem was them, and not Mayfield at all.
The player chose to remain nameless when offering this quote. The reason being was because he, “didn’t want to be named so he could speak freely.” The quote was this, “I would say we didn’t play to Baker’s strengths. I always felt like his best year, there were a lot of rollouts and getting Baker on the move. Shifts. Motions. Movement. I always felt like we were fairly stagnant, and Baker stayed in the pocket.”
The Cleveland Browns gave up on Mayfield rather quickly despite him taking them to the playoffs and breaking their horrible trend of being the worst team in the NFL. Once traded to the Panthers, he started six games and went 1-5 before being released a few months into the year. From that point, only one singular team placed a waiver team to claim him, that being the Los Angeles Rams. The interest in his services was so low that there was an ESPN reporter openly stating that his, “days as an NFL starter could be numbered.”
The Buccaneers Have Changed Baker Mayfield
Fast forward to this offseason and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take the chance on signing him to be their potential starter. He winds up beating Kyle Trask in the quarterback competition during the preseason and was named as the Week 1 starter. From there, Mayfield led the Buccaneers to a 9-8 record, a division title, and a playoff victory against the Philadelphia Eagles. A victory that saw him throw for 337 yards and three touchdowns.
It’s been hinted at for this whole season that the Panthers and Browns were more at fault for Baker’s down years than he was. Though, of course, he was still at fault for underperforming as well. The main consensus was that the Browns gave up too quickly, and the Panthers didn’t even begin to play to his strengths as a passer. With the Buccaneers, he gets to play with confidence and alongside a future Hall of Famer in Mike Evans. This is the best possible situation for him and it’s good to watch him ball out.