No respect from the four-letter network.
Look, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that no matter who the Bucs replace Tom brady with at quarterback there was going to be a high percentage that the production from the position would diminish. And that percentage is most likely 99.9999999% of that being the case.
Note: You always want to leave room for that small error of a chance it’s not the case. But I digress.
Many this offseason have already pinned the Bucs with some piss-poor production from the quarterback position. The latest from ESPN shows they are no different.
In Bill Barnwell’s article ranking the NFL’s best and worst of this offseason, Tampa Bay comes in at No. 27 with some harsh words from Barnwell regarding the Bucs quarterbacks.
This is a dreadful group of quarterbacks. Kyle Trask, a 2021 second-rounder, had inspired underwhelming reports in Tampa before making his NFL debut in Week 18 last season, when he went 3-for-9 in garbage time of a loss to the Falcons. He wasn’t going to play ahead of Brady, of course, but nothing about his first two seasons tells us he’s ready to be a starter.
The Bucs were looking to bring in a veteran arm to compete with Trask. However, the team was limited in cap space due to dead money that was mainly left behind from Brady’s retirement.
Barnwell acknowledges this in his article.
As a result, the Bucs went out and signed veteran Baker Mayfield to be that quarterback that competes with Trask for the starting role. Like the not-so-kind words ESPN’s senior writer had for Trask, he didn’t hold back when it came to Mayfield.
The Bucs understandably brought in competition for Trask, but their choice was to import Baker Mayfield, the NFL’s worst passer in 2022. While Mayfield’s nationally televised win over the Raiders just days after joining the Rams was one of the most entertaining upsets of the season, he was dreadful across his two teams. His league-worst QBR came in at 24.6. If we expand the measure to include backups, Mayfield trailed Joe Flacco, Sam Ehlinger and Skylar Thompson. He wasn’t much better while battling a shoulder injury in 2021.
There was a small sample size from Trask we saw with reserves playing in the game Barnwell referenced. Then you have the criticism for Mayfield that — to be fair — didn’t have a true offseason to prepare in Carolina while lasting a short time playing in Charlotte before finally being shipped to Los Angeles with, again, limited time prepare.
It’s been a slow news cycle this offseason. It’s really easy to harp on the Bucs quarterback situation. But let’s to be real here, give them the opportunity to hit the field with legitimate starters and true preparation before already penciling in either one as failures for 2023.