The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Have Made Their QB Choice for Week 1 vs. the Vikings



One of the big questions for the Minnesota Vikings 2023 schedule involved their Week 1 opponent, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

That question was this: who exactly will start at QB for the Bucs to begin the year? Well, that question was officially answered on Tuesday morning, and it appears that Tampa Bay is going with the veteran Baker Mayfield.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported the news by tweeting, “The #Bucs are going with Baker Mayfield as their starting QB, coach Todd Bowles announced. The former No. 1 overall pick, Mayfield beat out Kyle Trask for the right to succeed Tom Brady and will start the Sept. 10 opener at Minnesota.”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Aug 19, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) looks on against the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Buccaneers signed Mayfield in free agency this spring after Tom Brady officially called it quits after a legendary career. He was in competition with 2021 second-round pick Kyle Trask, who had been Tom Brady’s backup in each of the past two seasons.

Ever since joining Tampa Bay, Mayfield has impressed the coaching staff. He sat out of the team’s second preseason game this past weekend, perhaps tipping folks off to the fact that head coach Todd Bowles would give him the starting job. In the preseason opener, he completed 8-of-9 passes for 63 yards and a touchdown.

Aug 19, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) bumps helmets with guard John Molchon (75) before the game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Mayfield was selected by the Cleveland Browns with the first overall pick in the 2018 Draft. Over four years with the Browns, he started 59 games, leading Cleveland to a 29-30 record in those games. Considering where the Cleveland franchise stood before his arrival (going a combined 4-44 from 2015-17), this is an impressive feat.

In all, Mayfield threw for 14,125 yards, 92 TDs, and 56 INTs in his career with the Browns. He even helped them make the playoffs in 2020, the team’s first playoff berth since 2002.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) hangs his head as he walks off the field following a 37-14 loss to the Arizona Cardinals in an NFL football game at FirstEnergy Stadium, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Cleveland, Ohio. [Jeff Lange/Beacon Journal]

Browns 10

However, after an underwhelming 2021 season in which the Browns went back to their losing ways (an 8-9 record), Mayfield was dealt to the Carolina Panthers. He started six games for the Panthers, throwing for 1313 yards, 6 TDs, and 6 INTs. Mid-season, he was released by Carolina and picked up by the Rams where he finished the year. In four starts for LA, he threw for 850 yards, 4 TDs, and 2 INTs before signing with the Bucs this spring.

Mayfield now heads to Tampa Bay with the hope of rejuvenating his young career. He has quite the task in front of him by filling the shoes of the GOAT, and that journey begins on September 10th when the Vikings host them inside U.S. Bank Stadium.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.





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