Will Rams QB Baker Mayfield get chance to start 2023 NFL team?

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams do not have a need for a second starting NFL quarterback. But early indications are that is what the Rams quarterback hopes to be in the 2023 NFL season. The only question is, has he done enough to be offered an opportunity to start for some NFL team next year? If not, can he do enough in the last two games to earn that type of offer?

So far, he has rallied the Rams’ offense, injured offensive line and all, to put up impressive performances. But the sample size is now just three games. So how well has he done?

In three outings, we know that Baker Mayfield has led the Rams, battered and bruised, to a 2-1 record. He’s done that by passing 58 of 84 times for 571 times, four touchdowns, one interception, and has been sacked nine times. He’s also rushed seven times for 13 yards. Perhaps more impressive, he’s done it all without wide receiver Cooper Kupp, wide receiver Allen Robinson, and in the latest victory, wide receiver Ben Skowronek.

Will some NFL team take a chance on Mayfield with those numbers? Why not? He is an NFL veteran of five seasons and carries a career completion rate of 61.5 percent. He’s thrown for 102 touchdowns and just 63 interceptions. Best of all, despite arriving at the LA Rams just days ago, he has shown a mastery of the Rams’ offense that has allowed the team to put up points at a pace that rivals any other period of this season.

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LA Rams free agency should not count on extending Baker Mayfield

Don’t look for loyalty from Mayfield to acquiesce to the Rams and accept a backup role for a year or two or three. The NFL has shown no loyalty towards Baker Mayfield so far this season, so there is no reason for him to accept a bench role or lesser salary in the hope that he may come in to relieve starting quarterback Matthew Stafford should the need arise.

There are plenty of offenses that could showcase the skillsets of Mayfield, and expect to win in the process. A team that has a strong defensive presence, a strong running game, and a diverse offensive playbook that encourages some level of ‘winging it’ should a play break down would be an ideal scenario.

Mayfield could also be an excellent bridge to a team that knows it will be struggling for a year while a rookie quarterback learns the playbook, or for a team that does not plan to draft a quarterback until 2024.

So where does that leave the LA Rams? I would not be surprised to see a Rams Free Agency signing of an inexpensive quarterback who has some mobility and NFL experience in the offseason. For that matter, the Rams may even add a backup quarterback via the draft, develop him, and then trade him to a quarterback-hungry team who is unlikely to land a top prospect via the draft.

If Baker Mayfield does leave via free agency, you can look for the Rams to anticipate that departure to trigger the algorithm used to award compensatory picks. In 2022, both Mitch Trubisky and Jacoby Brissett triggered projected sixth-round picks.

There are plenty of factors to deliberate during the construction of the Rams roster next season. And there will be plenty of discussion over the team’s backup quarterback role. How will the Rams resolve the matter? Stay tuned, because this is when it gets fun . . .

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