1. Baker Mayfield, QB
One of the teams Alex Van Pelt met with before signing with the Patriots was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There was a belief that adding him to replace Dave Canales — who signed with the Carolina Panthers as their head coach — could help them retain Baker Mayfield.
Cleveland's No. 1 overall pick from the 2018 NFL Draft spent two seasons working with Van Pelt and the two seemed to always get along fine. They even had a lot of success together in 2020 when the Browns made the postseason and upset the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wild Card Round.
Of course we all know things fell apart between Mayfield and the Browns but he was able to rebound nicely in 2023. Following a frustrating campaign that saw him split time between the Panthers and Los Angeles Rams, Mayfield signed with the Bucs this offseason. He took over for Tom Brady, who retired following 2022, and had his best year as a pro.
Mayfield finished with 4,044 yards and had a 28-to-10 touchdown-to-interception ratio. More importantly, he led Tampa Bay to a 9-8 record and they won the NFC South. They then went on to knock off the Philadelpia Eagles on the heels of a three-touchdown game from Mayfield. He three three more touchdowns against the Detroit Lions in the Divisional Round but the Bucs still fell 31-23.
In New England, it feels as though there's no chance whatsoever they turn the reins back over to Mac Jones. He struggled mightily and will need a fresh start to get back on track. As for Mayfield, he has some leverage right now and if the Bucs are unable to keep him in town, AVP could make a play to bring in a quarterback who knows his system.