Baker Mayfield's NFL career was on the brink of collapse following his exit from the Cleveland Browns. His time as starter of Carolina Panthers was a disaster, and he went just 1-3 for the Los Angeles Rams after that.
However, he got one last chance with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ahead of the 2023 campaign, and it's gone better than expected. Tampa's in the mix for the NFC South crown -- which would net the team a top-four playoff seed and a home game in the postseason -- and Mayfield's enjoyed arguably a career year as a Buccaneer.
With this partnership off to a great start, it seems Mayfield could be sticking around for a while.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports there's "mutual interest" between Mayfield and the Buccaneers regarding a return in 2024. Rapoport notes while the former No. 1 pick has "renewed leverage," both sides "want to do it again next year."
This isn't a surprise given how the year has gone, though it's certainly a shock when looking back at how Mayfield's career was spiraling. The Bucs took a flier on the Browns flameout in a year they were desperate at quarterback with Tom Brady riding off into the sunset.
Though there were some doubts in training camp, Mayfield eventually emerged as the clear-cut starter over the incumbent Kyle Trask. Mayfield hasn't looked back since, starting all 15 games for Tampa Bay this season while recording an impressive 26 touchdowns and only eight interceptions.
The 28-year-old now has an obvious place to hang his hat for the next couple of seasons if he wants to pursue it. His impending free agency will suddenly be one of the league's more interesting stories this offseason following his comeback performance.
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