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Buccaneers announce the signing of Baker Mayfield, release Cameron Brate and Leonard Fournette

Tampa Bay makes the previously reported news official.

Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent quarterback Baker Mayfield. Mayfield will be made available to the media on Monday, March 20 at the AdventHealth Training Center at approximately 1:00 p.m. ET.

Mayfield (6-1, 215), the No. 1 overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns, comes to Tampa Bay after most recently splitting the 2022 season between the Carolina Panthers and Los Angeles Rams. He has started 69-of-72 games played over his five NFL seasons, throwing for 16,288 yards and 102 touchdown passes.

In his rookie campaign, Mayfield led the Browns to a seven-win improvement over the previous season. In 2018, he earned Rookie of the Year honors from the Pro Football Writers of America after tossing a career-best 27 touchdown passes, in addition to throwing for 3,725 yards. He also finished as runner up to Saquon Barkley for Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year accolades.

“Baker is a tough competitor who plays with the kind of passion and confidence that you look for in a quarterback,” said Buccaneers General ManagerJason Licht. “He’s a young veteran with good upside who should thrive in our new offensive system with receivers like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Russell Gage. He had an impressive 2020 season when he led the Browns to their playoff appearance and did some good things during his brief stint with the Rams at the end of last season. I know from speaking with him that he is excited to come in and compete for the starting job.”

His best season came in 2020 when Mayfield led the Browns to an 11-5 record – the team’s highest win total since 1994 – and Cleveland’s first playoff win in 26 years. That season, Mayfield threw 26 touchdown passes with just eight interceptions, earning a career high 95.9 passer rating. In his first career playoff game, he completed 21-of-34 passes for 263 yards and three touchdowns, recording a 115.2 passer rating.

The 2017 Heisman Trophy winner was a unanimous first-team All-America selection in his final season at Oklahoma, earning the Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien Award and Manning Award among a number of other accolades that year. After leading the BCS in completion percentage (70.5%) and yards per attempt (11.5 avg.), as well as setting a program single season record for total offense, Mayfield was also named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year in 2017. He was a member of the All-Big 12 first team in each of his three seasons as Oklahoma’s starting quarterback (2015-17). In addition, the Austin, Texas, native was named the Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year in his lone season at Texas Tech in 2013. He started 46-of-48 career games played, tallying 1,026 completions for 14,607 yards and 131 passing touchdowns, finishing with a 68.5 career completion percentage and a 304.3 passing yards per game average.

Tampa Bay also announced Friday the release of both tight end Cameron Brate and running back Leonard Fournette.

Brate appeared in 126 games across nine seasons for the Buccaneers, totaling 273 receptions for 2,857 yards and 33 receiving touchdowns. His 273 receptions are second-most among tight ends in team history. He was originally signed by the Buccaneers as a college free agent in 2014 out of Harvard University.

Fournette played in 43 games for the Buccaneers, logging 466 carries for 1,847 yards and 17 touchdowns while adding 178 receptions for 1,210 yards and five touchdowns. He holds the franchise record for most postseason rushing yards (362) and postseason yards from scrimmage (572). He was originally signed by the Buccaneers as a free agent in 2020.

(Report comes courtesy of the Buccaneers Communications Department.)