Raiders Tabbed a ‘Possibility’ to Sign Free-Agent QB Baker Mayfield

As we get closer to the point where the rubber hits the road in NFL free agency, it appears more and more likely that the Buccaneers and Baker Mayfield will do the expected thing and agree to a deal to move forward together. But, as we have seen in free agencies past, expected deals can fall apart quickly. And should that happen, Mayfield might find himself with a new designation–the Raiders‘ quarterback in 2024.

We can say with some certainty that the Raiders will add at least one new quarterback to the mix this offseason, likely two—adding a QB in the draft is almost a certainty, and adding one in free agency (or via trade) is a likely route, too. They could take a moderate/backup route with a guy like Jacoby Brissett or Gardner Minshew, but they could also swing for the fences. Mayfield would be a big swing, indeed.

At The 33rd Team analysis site, film analyst Derrik Klassen pegs the Raiders as a “possibility” for Mayfield, if things fall apart in his Tampa talks.

“In the event Mayfield leaves, he’s kind of in a weird spot. He’s less of a QB1 lock than someone like Cousins but somewhat more of a commitment than someone like Brissett,” Klassen wrote.

“The Raiders might still be interested in that. They could use a competent veteran quarterback with a little more juice than either Jimmy Garoppolo or Aidan O’Connell.”

Will Aidan O’Connell Remain Raiders Quarterback?

Garoppolo, of course, is sure to be released after a miserable one season with the Raiders, which saw him get benched in Week 8. O’Connell took over from there and the Raiders finished with a 5-4 record in the last nine games. O’Connell was hardly a star, and the dreadful 3-0 loss to Minnesota that cost the Raiders a shot at a playoff spot will be a stain that sticks with him, but he did show promise as a rookie.

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In those nine games, O’Connell threw for an average of 212.7 yards per game and had a quarterback rating of 86.1. Pro Football Focus gave him a grade of 65.9, which was 28th out of 38 NFL quarterbacks.

There’s hope that O’Connell can improve and that he should be given a shot at winning the starting job in 2024. That would be the case if the Raiders brought in someone of the caliber or Minshew or Brissett.

But Mayfield showed he is an NFL starter in 2023, after a rocky time cycling through three organizations in 2022. Signing Mayfield means the Raiders are making O’Connell the backup.

Signing Baker Mayfield Will Not Be Cheap

Certainly, they would have to pay Mayfield like a starter, and that is where things could get tricky. The Raiders have around $40 million in cap space, and can carve out more, but Mayfield is expected to get a contract worth around $30 million per year.

Spotrac projects him getting a four-year, $108 million contract, or $27 million per year, and PFF has him at $30 million per year, on a three-year, $90 million deal.

It would be a big commitment for the Raiders, who just got burned on the Garoppolo deal. But Mayfield has show he is a good leader who has matured significantly, and played better as 2023 went along. It would be a risky move, but if Mayfield slips away from the Buccaneers, he’d be a fit in Las Vegas.

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