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#pounditTuesday, May 21, 2024

Buccaneers will not be using franchise tag on Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield in pads and a hat

Aug 26, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) looks on against the Baltimore Ravens during the second quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers intend to keep Baker Mayfield, it appears they will have to work out a long-term contract with him, as the franchise tag appears to be off the table.

The Buccaneers appear likely to use their franchise tag on safety Antoine Winfield Jr., according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. If the Buccaneers do use the tag on Winfield, they will owe him roughly $16 million next year unless a long-term deal is agreed to.

It was never particularly likely that the Buccaneers would resort to the franchise tag to keep Mayfield. That would have cost them over $36 million, and would have been a one-year solution. The team remains committed to trying to keep him, and they have shown that commitment in other ways.

Mayfield made the Pro Bowl in a resurgent 2023 season with the Buccaneers, winding up throwing a career-high 28 touchdowns. Both sides want a reunion, but as long as he remains unsigned, there is inevitably a risk that another team might try to swoop in and tempt him away.

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