When it comes to future win totals, oddsmakers aren’t showing the Buccaneers a lot of love in the betting market.
But as OTAs get underway, quarterback Baker Mayfield said he’s not concerned about that at all.
“I played in this division last year and I’m pretty sure the Bucs won it still,” Mayfield said in his Tuesday press conference. “So, I don’t really care what the people Vegas are putting odds on it because it’s May. We haven’t played a real snap of football. There’s a long way to go before that.
“It’s just the time of year where everybody’s pretty bored and they don’t really have much to talk about and it makes it fun.”
Last year, Mayfield went from the Browns to the Panthers last July before he was released and claimed off waivers by the Rams in December. He was asked about having a renewed sense of hunger and fire after his experiences in 2022.
“I’ve always been pretty highly competitive,” Mayfield said. “It’s just, if I was to tell you when I first got drafted and I was to draw up my career that I was going to end up in Cleveland, I probably would’ve told you that was how it was gonna go. But that’s not how it shook out. That wasn’t God’s plan. So, on to the next thing. And this is a place that has been very welcoming and I’m excited.
“Obviously, it’s a one-year deal. And I”m just trying to make the most of it one day at a time. This is a great group that just seems like a no B.S. squad that’s all about winning.”
And what exactly does that mean to Mayfield?
“It’s just from top down, it’s all about winning and that’s the best part,” Mayfield said. “No distractions, no other nonsense, it’s just about how can we get on the same page toward winning? That’s how you build a great franchise. That’s why it is one.”
While the Buccaneers did win the NFC South last year, they did so with an 8-9 record and were beaten soundly by the Cowboys 31-14 in the wild card round. Tampa Bay has plenty of experienced players heading into 2023, but a lot will have to go right for the Bucs to repeat as division winners.