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Baker Mayfield, Buccaneers reportedly finalizing 3-year, $100M deal

Baker Mayfield bet on himself last season. That can be a cliché, considering that betting on oneself usually means there's no better market available. But Mayfield gave hope to everyone else who will try.

Mayfield had a good season on a cheap one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and his bet paid off big.

Baker and the Bucs are reportedly nearing a deal that would keep Mayfield in Tampa for three years and pay him $100 million with half of that guaranteed, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero detailed the deal, reporting that of Mayfield's $50 million guarantee, $30 million will be given in the first year of the new deal.

It's an impressive career revival, considering where Mayfield was by the end of the 2022 season.

Baker Mayfield has a strong comeback

Mayfield took a one-year, $4 million deal with the Buccaneers. Backups like Taylor Heinicke and Jarrett Stidham got more per season on their deals last offseason. But for Mayfield, it was a chance to be a starter for a team that had salary-cap issues due to Tom Brady's retirement.

Mayfield won the job with a solid preseason and kept it going once the regular season started. He threw for 4,044 yards and 28 touchdowns. The Buccaneers won the NFC South and a playoff game too. Mayfield made the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career.

Baker Mayfield made his first Pro Bowl last season with the Buccaneers. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Baker Mayfield made his first Pro Bowl last season with the Buccaneers. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) (Nic Antaya via Getty Images)

His career was stalled before that. The Browns were so eager to move on from him that they agreed to pay $10.5 million of Mayfield's $15.5 million salary when they traded him to the Carolina Panthers in 2022. The Panthers benched Mayfield as he struggled in a bad situation. Mayfield was released during the season and had a few good moments with the Los Angeles Rams, including leading a win over the Las Vegas Raiders a couple days after he was signed as an emergency starter. Despite that, there wasn't a lot of interest in him last offseason.

But Mayfield found the right fit.

Mayfield and Bucs were a good match

The Buccaneers and Mayfield offered each other lifelines. For the Bucs it was a low-cost gamble on a former No. 1 overall draft pick as they transitioned away from Brady. It was a way for Mayfield to get back on the NFL's starting quarterback track. It worked out as well as anyone could have expected.

Mayfield isn't old. He's just 29 years old and should have plenty of prime years ahead of him. He has the pedigree of being the first pick in the draft, some strong moments with the Cleveland Browns in his past and a Pro Bowl season with the Buccaneers. It has been an unlikely career path to this point, but that was true in college as well. Mayfield was the first player to begin his career as a walk-on and win a Heisman Trophy.

Mayfield has bet on himself and won before. This time, the gamble ended up in a lucrative result.