Baker Mayfield’s competitiveness praised by Bucs

At a press conference to announce the re-signments of cornerback Jamel Dean and outside linebacker Anthony Nelson, Bucs general manager Jason Licht confirmed that the team had reached an agreement with free agent quarterback Baker Mayfield. The Bucs were looking for an experienced veteran to compete with third-year quarterback Kyle Trask. They found a very tough competitor in Baker Mayfield.

“All of us in the front office and coaches too, Todd, he has a history with Baker competing against each other,” Licht said. “We have seen a fierce competitor. Very confident. Smart. He has a very good arm.”

Bowles previously coached against Mayfield, and the Bucs defeated Mayfield and the Browns in overtime in 2018 during his rookie season. That familiarity was not lost in Tampa Bay.

Despite his experience and his status as the Browns’ former No. 1, Mayfield will not get the starting job in Tampa Bay. He will have to earn it by beating Trask in training camp and pre-season.

“He’s had a lot of success,” Licht said of Mayfield. “He took Cleveland to the playoffs for the first time since 1994 when he was a coach [Bill] Belichick coached. That says something. We are thrilled to have him and add him to the fray.

“It’s going to be a nice game. It’s going to be – since I’ve been here – the first real, legitimate QB competition in training camp, which will be a lot of fun to watch. It’s going to make them both better, I’m confident in what [new offensive coordinator] Dave [Canales] has to do with the offense and with these quarterbacks.”

Bucs GM Jason Licht: Baker Mayfield is “a great teammate”

Bucs QB Baker Mayfield – Photo by: USA Today

Licht said he didn’t expect Trask, who has had very little experience over the past two years, to retire from competition now that Mayfield is in Tampa Bay. The Bucs general manager said the team’s second round run in 2021 is also quite competitive in its own way.

“Both are great competitors,” said Licht. “One (Mayfield) is a bit more outwardly competitive than the other. The other (Trask) is just as competitive, only more of a silent competitor. But they are both equally competitive.”

Licht shot down speculation that Mayfield might not be a great teammate due to his brash and somewhat cocky behavior. The Bucs expect Mayfield and Trask to get along and work well together.

“We did our homework and we got the same thing [feedback from the Browns, Panthers and Rams], which is that he’s a great person, a fierce competitor, very smart and very driven,” said Licht. “And a great teammate.”

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