Contract projection for Baker Mayfield would be a massive overpay

Would a team really sign QB Baker Mayfield for this much money?

2024 NFL Pro Bowl Games
2024 NFL Pro Bowl Games / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Baker Mayfield definitely earned a pay raise after his strong 2023 season, but this contract projection might be way too much for the up-and-down passer. Let's be honest here; will a team genuinely compete for a Super Bowl with Mayfield under center? The answer is no, but he was efficient enough in 2023 that he did earn himself a solid payday.

In fact, Spotrac seems to think that Mayfield is going to get a significant raise:

"Baker's comeback has been one of the more enjoyable storylines of the past few seasons, culminating with a playoff win this past season with the Bucs. Tampa Bay is trying to keep Baker off of the open market at the final hour. We've projected a contract that essentially plays like a cap-adjusted version of Geno Smith's deal in Seattle, while using a double bonus structure to keep cap hits insanely low over the next two seasons."

Michael Ginnitti

The contract projection from them has Mayfield signing a four-year, $120 million deal with $53 million guaranteed at signing and $85 million in practical guarantees. Obviously, this contract pays him $30 million per season, which is pretty modest for a QB, but what good would a team do by signing Mayfield? I think Mayfield falls into the "Kirk Cousins" tier, where you know that teams quarterbacked by Mayfield, Cousins, etc, will never win a Super Bowl, but you can reasonably expect them to play efficient football.

I truly do not see how that positively advances a franchise. A team wanting to sign Baker Mayfield, if this was the asking price, would be better off taking a big swing on a QB in the NFL Draft, as Mayfield's ceiling is pretty clear after being in the NFL for six seasons. He's also approaching 30 years old, so that could be another turn-off for potential fits.'

I think if a team is desperate enough for middle of the road QB play, they could make the jump and sign Mayfield, but there isn't a lot to say that he's more than just that, a middle of the road QB.

If I were a team looking for a QB upgrade in 2024, I would shy away at this potential asking price for Baker Mayfield. Across his career, Mayfield has thrown 130 touchdowns, 74 interceptions, and has earned a passer rating of 88.1. In 2023, he tossed 28 TDs and 10 INTs for a respectable 94.6 passer rating.