Can LA Rams new QB Baker Mayfield lead team rest of the way?

(Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Don’t discount Mayfield fundamentals

There have been two camps in the aftermath of the Mayfield Miracle on TNF. One group of Rams fans overstep the pragmatic approach, chiming in their “It was just one game,” to any indications of celebration that is rightly attributed to a performance that is unlikely to occur again in the lifetimes of many fans. A guy with less than 48 hours to learn an offense, torches the opposing defense for not one, but two, touchdowns to win the game in the fourth quarter.

But there are just as many who have taken that one game and are now planning for a mercenary NFL quarterback, who was acquired by the NFL Waiver Wire, to instantly fall in love with the LA Rams, offer a deep discount to a team he has just met, and be content to be a backup for another year or two or three while the Rams restore veteran QB Matthew Stafford when he is healthy enough to suit up next season.

To Mayfield: Money Matters

Ask yourself this: If an NFL team would offer Baker Mayfield a multi-year contract that averages more than $7 million per year (far greater than any contract the Rams are likely to offer the guy), would he take it? That is merely the money involved.

There is a greater concern as well: Opportunity. There is no question that the driving force for both of the NFL teams parting ways with Mayfield is the lack of opportunity to compete for a starting role. He learned that the Cleveland Browns were trading for Houston Texans QB DeShaun Watson. He then learned that the Carolina Panthers had moved him behind both QB Sam Darnold and P.J. Walker.

The opportunity to start only exists with the LA Rams because veteran QB Matthew Stafford is out for the rest of the season.

Mayfield does not want to be a backup quarterback at this point in his NFL career if he can help it. The LA Rams do not was a quarterback controversy throughout the 2023 NFL season. And veteran QB Matthew Stafford, who has a pattern of streakiness throughout his NFL career, has no interest in fans calling for the team to bench him. But all of the parties will make it work if the money is right. Well, the money is unlikely to be right for the LA Rams, and here’s why: