Ex-Rams Baker Mayfield Bucs' backup role in his quest to start for an NFL team again

Baker Mayfield
Baker Mayfield / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

After the successful late-season audition of ex-Panthers, ex-Browns free agent quarterback Baker Mayfield, LA Rams fans believe that the team had found the successor to starting veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford. After all, Mayfield ran the Rams offensively instantly, and the team won a couple of games despite an offense surrounding him that was fielding deep-rostered second and third-string players.

Ah, but Baker Mayfield saw events differently. His time with the LA Rams was not to win favor with LA Rams head coach Sean McVay, but rather to win a chance at starting at quarterback for a new NFL team during the 2023 NFL season. Money matters aside, that is simply something that the LA Rams could not offer.

But the now Tom Brady-less Tampa Bay Buccaneers could, and did, along with a one-year contract for $8.5 million. That was all it took.

And just like that, hopes to extend Mayfield have evaporated.

Rams running idle, Mayfield moving on

Baker Mayfield is a 6-foot-1 215-pound quarterback who was a former first selection in the 2018 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. In five appearances and four starts for the LA Rams, he completed 82 of 129 passes for 850 yards, four touchdowns and just two interceptions. He also rushed 15 times for 37 yards. His time with the Rams rivaled his career best completion percentage, falling just shy of his 63.8 percent completion rate set in his rookie season.

While playing for the LA Rams in five games, he was able to set the fanbase on the edge of their seats with the Mayfield Miracle. His best performance was a Christmas Day stampede of the Denver Broncos. When Mayfield led the Rams to victory, the team won with gusto.

There is little celebration or fanfare of this latest news. The Rams free agency efforts have been idling, as now some NFL teams turn their attention to Rams players who can help to round out their roster. Of 38 players that are available to sign new contracts, the LA Rams have re-signed three and NFL teams have just signed their second. If you toss Jalen Ramsey's trade into the mix, the Rams are down three 2023 veterans.

Even now, the Rams roster does not even have the 53-man regular season limit, let alone another 16 players who will make up the team's practice squad. So, at some point, business will pick up for the LA Rams front office. But, for now, it appears that the Rams will idle their engines a bit longer.