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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Baker Mayfield Named Buccaneers Starting Quarterback

Head Coach Todd Bowles tabbed sixth-year veteran Baker Mayfield as the Bucs' starting quarterback on Tuesday, ending a competition for the job between Mayfield and third-year pro Kyle Trask


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' starting quarterback competition has reached its conclusion: Baker Mayfield will be under center when the Buccaneers begin their regular season on September 10 in Minnesota.

Head Coach Todd Bowles tabbed Mayfield as the starter after practice on Tuesday. Mayfield had been in a head-to-head battle with third-year quarterback Kyle Trask, who the Buccaneers picked with the last pick of the second round in the 2021 draft.

Both quarterbacks performed well during the first two games of the preseason. Mayfield started the Week One contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers and completed eight of nine passes for 63 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions over the course of four possessions. Trask relieved him and hit on six of 10 throws for 99 yards and one interception.

Trask got the start in Week Two against the New York Jets and played the whole first half. He also re-entered the game late in the third quarter after John Wolford was carted off the field with a neck injury. In all, Trask completed 20 of 28 passes for 218 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Mayfield did not play against the Jets.

Mayfield, who was selected first overall in the 2018 draft by the Cleveland Browns, will be making his fifth opening-day start in six years in the league. The Browns did not put him into the starting lineup until the fourth game of his rookie season, but he began the 2019-21 campaigns as the number-one quarterback. The Browns traded Mayfield to Carolina last July and he subsequently won a competition for the Panthers' starting job with Sam Darnold.

Mayfield started six games for Carolina last season, then another four for the Rams after being waived and claimed by Los Angeles. In all, he has played in 72 regular season games with 69 starts, compiling a 31-38 record as a starter. He also started two postseason games for the Browns in 2020, winning one.

Mayfield's career numbers include a 61.4% completion percentage (1,386 of 2,259), 16,288 passing yards and a 102-64 touchdown-interception ratio. He put together his finest season so far with Cleveland in 2020, compiling a 95.9 passer rating while throwing for 222.7 yards per game, tossing 26 touchdowns against eight interceptions and helping Cleveland to an 11-5 record. The Browns then beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, 48-37, in the first round of the playoffs before falling to the eventual AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs, 22-17. Mayfield threw for 467 yards, four touchdowns and just one interception in those two contests.

Mayfield will be the first quarterback other than Tom Brady to start for the Buccaneers since Brady's arrival as a free agent in 2020. Tampa Bay won a Super Bowl and two NFC South titles during Brady's tenure with the team, but the seven-time NFL champion retired in January.

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