As Tampa Bay Buccaneers bring in Liam Coen as the offensive coordinator, quarterback Baker Mayfield tweaked his tune on his future.
“I love Tampa, I love everything about it,” Mayfield told reporters at the Pro Bowl festivities on Friday.
That’s less than 24 hours after Mayfield told NFL Network’s Cam Wolfe about his biggest consideration in free agency on Thursday. Mayfield can become a free agent in March, and the recent departure of offensive coordinator Dave Canales played a role in his thinking. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Coen’s hire on Friday.
“It all just kind of depends,” Mayfield told Wolfe. “Obviously Tampa, we’re going though a little bit of a OC search right now. It’ll start there. They were the first ones that gave me a chance, and [I’m] thankful for them. We’ll see. Taking it one day at a time.”
Mayfield had a career resurgence with the Buccaneers in 2023 as he threw for 4,044 yards and 28 touchdowns versus 10 interception. Canales played a significant role in Mayfield’s turnaround, but Coen also brings familiarity to Tampa for Mayfield.
The two worked together briefly with the Los Angeles Rams in 2022. Mayfield arrived in December 2022 — his third team that year — and stepped up for the Rams with 850 yards passing for four touchdowns versus two picks in five games.
Coen, who had two stints with the Rams, returned to the college ranks in 2023 where he served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Kentucky. The Wildcats produced under Coen with 29.1 points per game and 339.3 yards per game after the departure of record-setting quarterback Will Levis to the NFL.
“Great guy,” Mayfield said of Coen on Friday. “If they lock that down for sure, it’s a similar system. Obviously, same system. Just some different terminology in how he wants to call things. There’s something to say about that continuity in the offense for the skill guys, the offensive line … it’s important to have.”
Baker Mayfield on Liam Coen: ‘He’s Definitely Fiery’
Coen will bring a different style than Canales, but Mayfield knows the Buccaneers will get a leader.
“He may not be as outgoing as I am, but he’s definitely fiery,” Mayfield said.
Coen notably coached under Rams head coach Sean McVay, who built a Super Bowl championship team in 2021 amid seven seasons at the helm. McVay had Coen on staff for three of those seasons.
Mayfield expects a shift in contract negotiations with Coen on the way to Tampa. Spotrac projects Mayfield to earn $27.1 million annually or equivalent of a four-year, $108.5 million deal.
“I think now that they are finalizing a deal [for Coen], I think it will pick up [for me],” Mayfield said.
Fun and Games for Baker Mayfield, Tristan Wirfs in Orlando
Besides business, Mayfield had a little fun as he popped in for Buccaneers tackle Tristan Wirfs‘ interview. Mayfield and Wirfs are the lone Pro Bowlers for the Buccaneers this season.
According to FOX 13’s Kevin O’Donnell, Mayfield previously called Wirfs after learning the news of the Pro Bowl selection. Wirfs joked “what’s there?” in Orlando, the site of the Pro Bowl, O’Donnell reported.
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