The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be under the microscope this offseason as they determine who will start at quarterback come September. Kyle Trask and Baker Mayfield will be splitting reps for most of the summer. Head coach Todd Bowles discusses the process.
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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to be in the midst of a quarterback competition come training camp, but the team isn't going to force anything from the jump. Baker Mayfield has been impressing the Bucs' staff so far, but Kyle Trask will get his time to prove himself as well, offensive coordinator Dave Canales says.
Mayfield has the experience (including playoff experience) of being a starter, while Trask has the advantage of sitting behind the goat (Tom Brady) for two seasons. On the flip side, Trask's only regular-season NFL playing time was during a meaningless Week 18 game in 2022, while Mayfield has been with four teams now. Both will get a good shot, and as Canales said, "Competition makes everybody great."
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The Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl in 2018. Now, two out of three of the quarterbacks on that roster are free agents. Carson Wentz has been looking for a new home since his release from the Washington Commanders, and Nick Foles was released by the Indianapolis Colts on Friday.
Both Wentz and Foles could find new teams as backups closer to camp, as teams like to have a good veteran presence heading into the summer.
Or, do they walk away? Foles said recently he is unsure about his future in the NFL after his release from Indy. "Shoot, almost every year of my career I've almost retired. Every offseason, I think, 'Do I still want to play? Do I still want to keep going?' Specifically this last year with everything."
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One of the biggest things the Green Bay Packers had to do this offseason after trading Aaron Rodgers is figure out what to do with now current starter Jordan Love. The Packers had until 4 pm ET to pick up or decline Love's fifth-year option; instead, they opted to sign him to a two-year deal to replace it. The deal is worth up to $22.5 million, with $13.5 million guaranteed.
This deal is a good bet for both sides - Green Bay gets a starting QB for cheap, while being able to show some confidence in him, Love gets a little more security and a chance to prove it.
If it works - great. The Packers are willing to push some chips into the center of the table in saying that Love is a valuable starter and he could play out the current deal. If it doesn't work, it's manageable for the team and not that expensive.
I, personally, have not seen enough of Love to make a determination on how he'll be as a starting QB. I know this deal says that the Packers have seen enough to take the chance - but they also didn't really have much of a choice once the Rodgers trade went through. We'll have to wait and see on this one.
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I swear if Tom Brady plays in 2023...
When asked if he would come out of retirement and play for the Miami Dolphins, Brady didn't say no. In fact, he didn't answer the question at all.
Rumors of Brady to the Dolphins have circulated for years - from the Sean Payton fiasco before he joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to him, here, saying he has friends on the Dolphins. Brady has insisted he is retired for real this time, but there's always going to be some doubt, considering he un-retired before.
There's no way to tell how Brady will feel once training camp rolls around. And then once the season begins. And then when he's not playing in the postseason and competing for a Super Bowl. Please, Tom, let's not.
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New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has refused to say who the starting quarterback will be come September and rumors have been swirling all offseason that Mac Jones is on the outs with the team. The potential savior? Bailey Zappe. Zappe says he's ready for the challenge come training camp.
Zappe played four games last season and you could argue that he looked better amidst the Matt Patricia Experiment than Jones did. Zappe threw five touchdowns and three interceptions, with a 100.9 passer rating.
It's a small sample size, but if the Patriots are serious about opening up a competition this summer, Zappe is ready for it.
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where the Titans stand at QB
QB Ryan Tannehill has a $36.6 million cap hit in 2022, sparking rumors that the Tennessee Titans could move on from him. Personally, I still think it happens, but as of right now, head coach Mike Vrabel is adamant that Tannehill will remain the team's quarterback in 2023. "Of course we do [expect Tannehill to be the QB]. We are in March and we are continuing to build a football team, the best football team we can. And Ryan is getting healthy. He has been putting the work in." If you say so, Mike.
The Titans currently hold the No.11 pick in the NFL Draft - the top guys are all likely to be gone by then. Tennessee could be hoping a guy like Will Levis falls that far, but if not? Can I interest you in a slightly used Lamar Jackson?
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The New England Patriots are the latest team to say they're uninterested in trading for Lamar Jackson.
Head coach Bill Belichick refused to talk about Jackson at all during interviews at the owners' meetings earlier this week; owner Robert Kraft said Meek Mill (yes, Meek Mill) texted him to say Jackson was interested in joining the team. It appears that won't be happening.
On top of the financial aspect that Jackson is looking for, the Patriots will also have to give up strong draft capital in order to sign Jackson, something Kraft spoke about earlier this week. And New England is one of the teams in the league who is currently in the 'we'll take all the draft picks we can get' category as they're in the middle of a semi-rebuild.
The Patriots haven't seemed like they've been 100% sold on current starting quarterback Mac Jones, as he experienced a sophomore slump in 2022. But he deserves another chance at the helm without last year's disaster of an offensive coordinator (Matt Patricia).
The options are dwindling for Sir Lamar Jackson.
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While it's one of the things that makes Josh Allen 'Josh Allen,' the Buffalo Bills want to see their star quarterback take less hits in 2023. The trouble so far, has been the balance. While injuries are a part of the game, quarterbacks who have abilities like Allen are far more likely to get injured. Head coach Sean McDermott said it's going to be a group effort to get the best out of Allen and protect him at the same time.
It'll be interesting to see if and how the Bills address this problem - I don't expect Allen to adjust his play at all, but there are ways the team can take some of the heat off of him. Like, adding an explosive running back in this year's draft? Trading for Derrick Henry? We shall see.
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The time has arrived.
Baker Mayfield officially signed his contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday.
Mayfield signed a one-year, $8.5 million deal, with $4 million guaranteed. The rest I we assume will come in incentives, i.e. playing time. Mayfield will compete with Kyle Trask, and at this point, I think it's Mayfield's job to lose.
This is a good opportunity for Mayfield to come in and prove it - he played well during a short stint with the Los Angeles Rams last season. Mayfield wanted a team that would put him in a good situation to win and thought Tampa was a good spot (maybe because of their god awful division). "It was important for me to be in a place that's stable and knows how to win, knows how to do it properly," he said in Monday's press conference.
And for the Bucs - they're in a semi-rebuild mode after Brady announced his retirement (again) earlier this offseason. But don't call Mayfield 'Tom Brady' just yet. "Listen, I'm never going to be Tom Brady. There's a reason why he's won so many Super Bowls. He's the greatest of all time - there's no doubt about that. I'm not going to try to be Tom. I'm going to be me."
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