Crystal Balling The Bucs –


“I see Jason Licht…I see another quarterback…”

While scouting the near future with the Bucs, Joe’s good friend, Mike Tanier of soccer strangers plans a very interesting if not drama-filled training camp to break the monotony of how an unnamed West Soybean Patch State fullback hopes to make the Bucs a backup on the punt team.

Tanier predicts Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht will test a very cheap, low-mileage quarterback as a potential successor to Tom Brady. And the name of this man is Baker Mayfield.

Looking to the NFL horizon, Tanier sees the Bucs as the only logical landing spot for Mayfield following his release by the Browns this summer. Tanier foresees Mayfield as a much better backup option than Blaine Gabbert and if Mayfield impresses, maybe Brady hands over to Mayfield in February.

Monday, August 8, 2022: Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign Baker Mayfield

“Is Baker Mayfield Heir Apparent to Tom Brady?” read the headlines. Maybe. Or maybe Jason Licht sees the opportunity to kick the tires on a player everyone once coveted, and Todd Bowles is feeling shaky at quarterback after watching Blaine Gabbert and Kyle Trask toss the ball around the training camp for two weeks. Mayfield signs a two-year contract, but the second year includes an unguaranteed bonus pro-rata.

Another round of sound bites and talking points do the rounds. “Byron Leftwich can UNLOCK Baker Mayfield’s potential. Here’s how.” “Like Jameis Winston before him, Baker Mayfield is looking for a second chance behind a living legend.” The Brady-Mayfield couple is the biggest story in the mid-training camp slump, when all the other news involves of depressing ACL tears and dismal battles for the starting right tackle position.

Boy, Tanier has certainly hit the nail on the head here.

After the second week of training camp, boredom slaps you right on the grill and you beg for a two-day joint training session with another team. Or at least a thunderstorm so you can sit in the AC and watch the practice. The stale monotony is so bad that at the end of week two camp, it’s the only time in human history that sober people want to a pre-season game.

(Column intermission: Hey Roger Goodell, instead of complaining about eliminating an exhibition game called the Pro Bowl that actually earns your league and your players millions of dollars every year from the TV channels, how about removing something something that nobody wants and that brings little money to your coffers: those worthless pre-season games. If you weren’t such a fraud and were genuinely concerned about player health, those damn things would have been erased from the consciousness of the free world a long time ago. At least at the Pro Bowl, fans get to see players they care about playing football, not future Chili managers, Walmart truck drivers and kitchen appliance installers.)

For Bucs fans recoiling in horror at the thought of Mayfield, who actually has a playoff victory under his belt as a starting quarterback – for the unfortunate Browns no less! – don’t bite your nails yet. Tanier’s Crystal Ball see additional images.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023: Buccaneers decline second-year option on Baker Mayfield contract

“Baker has done a lot of great things for us,” Jason Licht said when researching media availability. “He was great in the quarter room and in the locker room. But with Brady back in 2023, we think it’s better for Baker if he has an opportunity elsewhere.

Insiders report that Mayfield has “matured” during his time on the Buccaneers bench, although the sources and motivation for those reports are unclear. Mayfield himself sounded optimistic later that week The Pat McAfee Show. “What happened in Cleveland is behind me. I am in control of my own destiny now. I will finally be able to choose the right opportunity for me and then make the most of it.

Wait a minute! Tom Brady back in 2023? If this image isn’t a mirage, someone needs to take Tanier’s crystal ball to one of those hand-read shops along Gulf Blvd. on the beach in Madeira.

What Joe finds disappointing is that Tanier didn’t see any images in his crystal ball revealing Brady’s return so he could retire after a brace, or if he’s returning in 2023 because of other unfinished business? Joe has a hunch that our desert friends would love to know about these images and would pay handsomely for them.

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