Surprise team could make strong push to sign Baker Mayfield

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made it clear they want to bring back Baker Mayfield as their starting quarterback, and it sure seems like the feeling is mutual between both parties.

That said, money talks, and Mayfield should have no shortage of suitors in free agency if he indeed hits the open market without a long-term extension from the Bucs, especially coming off the best season of his career.

One surprise team that could be emerging as a threat to poach Mayfield away from the Bucs?

The New England Patriots are the dark-horse candidate, according to NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah:

The Pats currently own the No. 3 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, and the consensus has been that they would likely spend that pick on the last of the elite quarterback prospects in this year’s class, either North Carolina’s Drake Maye or LSU’s Jayden Daniels.

But if they’re able to sign a quality veteran like Mayfield, it would free them up to spend that pick elsewhere, and Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. is widely regarded as the best overall player in this draft class, regardless of position.

Mayfield isn’t the only marquee free agent the Bucs are trying to keep in-house, as stars like wide receiver Mike Evans and safety Antoine Winfield Jr. are also likely to command top dollar to keep them from heading elsewhere.

After a career year in Tampa Bay, it looks like Mayfield could have plenty of teams trying to keep him from returning to the Bucs on a long-term deal.

Story originally appeared on Buccaneers Wire