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AFC team is reportedly ‘very high’ 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

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are still viewed as the favorite to re-sign Baker Mayfield this offseason, but the level of interest he has received around the NFL could make that a challenge. At least one AFC team appears to be very fond of the veteran quarterback.

There have been numerous reports that the New England Patriots might pursue Mayfield in free agency, especially if they decide they do not want to target a quarterback with the No. 3 pick in the draft. According to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, the Patriots are “very high” on Mayfield but should be viewed as a long shot to sign the former top overall pick.

The Patriots have ample salary cap space, so paying a quarterback top dollar this offseason should not be an issue for them. However, they seem unlikely to want to give Mayfield a $40 million salary over several years, which is what the 29-year-old could command if he tests the open market.

Though the most likely outcome is that Mayfield remains with the Bucs, there is some familiarity between him and New England. Patriots executives Eliot Wolf and Alonzo Highsmith were with the Cleveland Browns in 2018 when Mayfield was drafted first overall. The Patriots also recently hired Alex Van Pelt as their new offensive coordinator. Van Pelt served in the same role with the Browns from 2020-2023, so he also has experience working with Mayfield.

Mayfield has even been linked to one of the Buccaneers’ rivals, so Tampa Bay might have to spend big to keep him. If the Patriots enter the mix, the price could get even more steep.

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