Bowles thinks that Baker Mayfield deserved a comeback to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Bowles thinks that Baker Mayfield deserved a comeback to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Coach Todd Bowles said that quarterback Baker Mayfield has earned the right to return in 2024, shortly after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ season came to an end with a 31-23 playoff divisional defeat at the hands of the Detroit Lions.

Both Mayfield, who was on a one-year contract with Tampa, and wide receiver Mike Evans, who was dissatisfied at the beginning of the season for not receiving a new contract before Week 1, have expressed a desire to return.

“He most definitely has,” Bowles said of Mayfield, who in the Bucs’ first season after the departure of Tom Brady guided the team to an NFC South championship and a 10-9 record. “Business is business, so it’s obviously too early to discuss that, but Baker had an incredible year. We adore him. The men adore him. And we’ll find out what comes next.”

Outside the locker room, general manager Jason Licht gave Mayfield a long embrace, expressing the organization’s affections for the journeyman quarterback who had gone from being the first selection to playing for his fourth club in two seasons.

This season, there have been no discussions about a new contract for Mayfield; but, in the winter, his reps will meet with the Bucs to speak about one.

Mayfield, whose 349 passing yards on Sunday were the third-most in a Buccaneers playoff game, said, “I love this group.” All year long, I said that. It’s also real. That’s what I mean. To bring back many important components, to put this back together, and to get it into Year 2 of the system would mean a great deal to me. You can make incredible progress in this regard. That would be wonderful.I can’t say enough good things about this organization and the chance they given me this year, but who knows how it will all turn out? I’m just grateful and hoping for the best.”

Licht has also said that the group intends to negotiate a new contract with Evans. Evans completed with over 1,000 receiving yards for the tenth consecutive season, becoming the first player in NFL history to do so. Evans is the franchise’s all-time leader in receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, catches, and total touchdowns.

Evans agreed with ESPN’s statement that it “would mean everything for the franchise, ownership, all of us” if Evans became a lifelong Buccaneer.

The playoff game saw Evans gain 147 receiving yards and a score. “I’ve been on record saying how much I love this place and how much I want to be here,” Evans said. It would be fantastic if I could finish with only one team, since hardly many men manage to do so. However, we’ll see. I’m still working on moving beyond this setback.”

Evans and his representative, Deryk Gilmore, had given themselves until September 9th, 2023, to finalize a new contract before the 2023–24 regular season began, failing which they would hold off on negotiations until the offseason.

Evans was frustrated, according to sources who spoke with ESPN, that the Bucs did not make an offer before the deadline. Evans thinks that after the Super Bowl, there will be discussions.

Being a Buccaneer has great meaning for Evans and his family. “I wasn’t a Bucs fan growing up or anything, but regardless of what happens, we’ll always be Bucs fans. I adore both the franchise and the city.”

Chris Godwin, a wide receiver, expressed his optimism that both guys will be back.

Godwin said of Evans, who has played beside him since being chosen in 2017, “It would be amazing.” “It sounds and feels so strange to me that he’s not here. That we’ve arrived at this stage bothers me. However, ideally, we can continue this.”Since Mike is a person and a player, you naturally wish that things had been resolved sooner, but that’s the business side of things. That’s beyond our control. But once again, I hope he returns and that we may carry out this activity once more.”

Regarding Mayfield’s possible comeback, Godwin said, “He fit right in.” He seemed to match the pattern of the other boxers that we had around, individuals going through similar struggles.I believe that everyone loves and respects Baker much. Although we have no influence over the commercial aspect of it, we hope they can pull it off.”

More in Sports:
Photo Credits: