Quarterback Baker Mayfield was linked with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last spring. History is repeating itself this winter.
The Joe Bucs Fan website noted Thursday that the Buccaneers potentially hiring University of Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken to replace Byron Leftwich, as reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (h/t Nick Shook), could ultimately result in Mayfield signing with Tampa Bay as a free agent.
Monken was Mayfield’s offensive coordinator when both were with the Cleveland Browns during the 2019 season, and the 27-year-old could have a legitimate chance to start over Blaine Gabbert and Kyle Trask if Tom Brady is serious about moving on from the Buccaneers.
The Buccaneers reportedly want Brady back for another season, but it was also learned Thursday that Tampa Bay quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen is retiring.
“Brady seemed very tight with Christensen,” Joe Bucs Fan mentioned. “And Christensen has talked publicly about how close he is with Brady, even sitting with him on team bus rides.” The implication is Christensen would’ve fought to stick around if he thought Brady was running it back with the Buccaneers.
Buccaneers senior advisor Bruce Arians spoke highly of Mayfield back in 2018, and general manager Jason Licht teased last March he could look into acquiring the signal-caller from the Browns to sit behind Brady on the depth chart. Instead, Mayfield flopped with the Carolina Panthers this fall but then performed admirably during a short stint with the Los Angeles Rams.
Across five games and four starts in the Los Angeles offense, Mayfield completed 63.6% of 129 passes for 850 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. After Week 18, he made it known he believes he’s “a starting quarterback” in the NFL and won’t “just go chase a check to go start and play.”
If Mayfield thinks Monken can give his career a needed jump-start later this year, the first pick from the 2018 NFL Draft could attempt to fill a hole left by the G.O.A.T. assuming Brady has already offered a farewell to the Bucs.