Falcons odds on favorites to sign Baker Mayfield, if he leaves Buccaneers

NFL: OCT 15 Lions at Buccaneers

With the NFL Combine next week, the rumor mill should really begin to churn, especially for a team like the Falcons, who are expected to be quite aggressive in their search for a quarterback.

Terry Fontenot, Raheem Morris, and the rest of Atlanta’s staff will be scouting the draft class, one that features three elite prospects at the top — Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, and Jayden Daniels.

Moreover, the organization’s brass will be networking with other teams about potential trades and free agents’ representation to gain a complete perspective on the quarterback markets before making a decision.

The two most popular (and realistic) targets among the fan base are Kirk Cousins and Justin Fields, at least as far as social media is concerned, not including the top three prospects coming out of the draft.

One is a veteran who can step in right away and make the Falcons contenders but doesn’t offer long-term viability. The other is a talented, yet underachieving player whose ceiling is incredibly high and can also be the club’s next franchise quarterback because of his age if realizes his full potential.

One that might be a marriage of the two — short-term and long-term goals — could be Baker Mayfield, who is coming off a career year and could test the free agent market.

Mayfield is young enough to give the Falcons more than just a few years like Kirk Cousins. At the same time, he’s also capable of helping the Falcons compete in 2024 after taking the Buccaneers to the divisional round last season, which may not be a guarantee with Fields.

He might not have the sky-high potential as Fields, or be as effective as Cousins in 2024, but Mayfield is a nice blend of the two. Ian Rapoport already connected the two sides due to his familiarity with Raheem Morris and Zac Robinson.

“Coaches around the league admire Mayfield’s competitiveness and skill level, so he’ll surely have interest on the market — perhaps even from AFC South-rival Atlanta, where former Rams assistants Raheem Morris and Zac Robinson are now in charge.”

The former No.1 overall pick spent some of the 2022 season with the Rams, starting four games for the Rams with Sean McVay calling plays and Robinson as his position coach.

Mayfield had moderate success compared to last year with the Bucs. He tossed four touchdowns, two interceptions, and 850 yards on 63.6% passing across four starts in 2021, but had a career year in Tampa Bay, throwing for a career-best 28 touchdowns and 4,044 yards on 64.3% passing.

Now, he’s going to parlay that into a multi-year deal, and it might be the Falcons that sign him in free agency. According to BetOnline, if Mayfield leaves Tampa, his most likely free agent destination is Atlanta.

It would make a lot of sense for both sides. I’m not sure if Baker Mayfield can get the Falcons to the Super Bowl, probably not, but this club should just be worried about getting back to the postseason before worrying about raising the Lombardi.

Photographer: Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire

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