2023-03-15 · 3 min read · NFL/Football
Bucs sign Baker Mayfield, and Cowboys release Ezekiel Elliott

Steph Chambers and Cooper Neill via Getty Images

Bucs sign Baker Mayfield, and Cowboys release Ezekiel Elliott in another busy day in NFL free agency on Wednesday
It’s been a hectic few days of moves in the NFL, and Wednesday was no different.
One of the more significant deals completed was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signing Baker Mayfield as the heir apparent to the G.O.A.T. Tom Brady, who retired following the conclusion of the 2022 campaign.
On Wednesday, the former #1 overall pick in 2018 was signed to a one-year contract worth $8.5 million.
Mayfield has suffered plenty of twists and turns recently as the 27-year-old only played six games with the Carolina Panthers this past season before being released and joining the Los Angeles Rams, where he featured in four games in place of the injured Matthew Stafford.
In 72 career NFL games, Mayfield has completed 61.4% of his passes, throwing for 16,288 yards, 102 touchdowns and 64 interceptions while also rushing for 660 yards.
Over that time, he’s compiled a record of 31-38-0.
The Bucs also re-signed Lavonte David to a one-year deal for $7 million fully guaranteed, with the 33-year-old generating 124 tackles last season along with three sacks in 17 games, helping Tampa capture the NFC South.
Also, on Wednesday, the team that ended Brady’s NFL career, the Dallas Cowboys, made a big announcement, informing longtime running back Ezekiel Elliott that he will be released.
Elliott, who is 27, is coming off a season filled with career lows in rushing attempts (231), rushing yards (876) and rushing average (3.8 yards-per-carry), though he found the end zone in his last nine games of 2022.
The three-time Pro Bowl rusher signed a six-year, $90 million extension with the Cowboys in 2019 but saw his touches limited last season thanks to a solid campaign by Tony Pollard.
Letting Elliott go before the June 1 deadline saves Dallas over $10 million, according to Over the Cap, while the Cowboys recently placed the franchise tag on Pollard.
Elliott leaves the Cowboys as the third-leading rusher in franchise history behind Emmitt Smith and Tony Dorsett and is currently the second-leading active rusher in the NFL behind Derrick Henry.
Philly was not done there as they also announced they are bringing back Fletcher Cox, signing him to a one-year contract worth $10 million.
The six-time Pro Bowler has been a looming force down the middle of the Eagles’ defensive line since being drafted in 2012, registering 65 sacks, 15 forced fumbles and 13 fumble recoveries.
The Eagles lost a big part of their offense on Wednesday as well with Miles Sanders joining the Carolina Panthers.
The New England Patriots meanwhile signed wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster to a three-year, $33 million contract.
The 26-year-old is fresh off a Super Bowl triumph with the Kansas City Chiefs, as his new deal includes $16 million in guaranteed money.
He’ll be expected to fill the shoes of Jakobi Meyers, who agreed to terms with the Las Vegas Raiders the other day for three years and $33 million as well.
Last year JuJu signed an incentive deal with KC, with the wideout generating 78 catches for 933 yards and three scores during the 2022 regular season, adding 10 catches for 89 yards in their run to the Super Bowl.
And in Buffalo, the Bills re-signed Pro Bowl safety Jordan Poyer to a new two-year contract extension.
He’s been the model of consistency throughout his career, getting an All-Pro nod in 2021 and then being selected to the Pro Bowl this past season.
In his NFL career, Poyer has 24 picks, 50 passes defended, 11 sacks, eight forced fumbles and 706 tackles in over 10 seasons.
Two-time Super Bowl winner Juan Thornhill is moving to the Cleveland Browns on a three-year, $10 million contract with $14 million of that fully guaranteed.
New Orleans meanwhile have signed former Lions running back Jamaal Williams to a three-year $12 million contract, eight million of which is guaranteed.
Sports Tree Profile

By: Joel Lefevre


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