As 14 NFL teams gear up for playoff runs, the rest of the league will reset for the offseason and what could be a heck of a game of musical chairs at the quarterback position.
The market will see a glut of potential free-agent signal-callers, from Tom Brady to Lamar Jackson to Geno Smith to Daniel Jones to Jimmy Garoppolo to Sam Darnold. There are more veterans hitting the market than landing spots.
Former No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield believes he could earn one of those jobs.
"I know I'm good enough to be a starting quarterback. I have no doubt about that," the Los Angeles Rams quarterback said Sunday following their season-ending loss in Seattle, via Gilbert Manzano of the Orange County Register.
Mayfield improbably led the Rams to a win in his first game in L.A., a 17-16 comeback over the Las Vegas Raiders, but since then, the shine has mostly worn off.
He struggled Sunday in the overtime defeat to the Seahawks, completing 50% of 26 pass attempts for 147 yards while taking five sacks. His interception in overtime led to the Seahawks' game-winning field goal. Mayfield had an open Van Jefferson on the play but underthrew the ball to the inside of the field, allowing safety Quandre Diggs to pick it off.
After a July trade from Cleveland, Mayfield began the season as the starter in Carolina but struggled to move the ball consistently before suffering injuries that put him on the shelf. He made one more start after his return but threw two interceptions in a dismal loss. Instead of accepting being buried at third string on the depth chart, Mayfield requested his release, which the Panthers granted.
Landing in L.A. with McVay breathed some life into Mayfield's prospects. He showed he could still sling it when everything was set up. But he remains a streaky quarterback who makes far too many mistakes under pressure.
After his experience with McVay, Mayfield said he wouldn't chase a starting job or money but rather look for the best situation possible.
"It's gotta be the best opportunity for me," Mayfield said. "I'm not gonna go chase a check to go start and play after seeing a place that makes me have fun playing football again. It's going to be hard to try something else new, but it's going to be a big-time decision. So there's going to be a lot of thought put into it."
Given the glut of signal-callers heading to free agency, it'd be a stunner if Mayfield was handed a starting job in the spring. He's likelier to take a job as a backup and be a backstop in case a starter gets injured, much like the role he played in L.A. this season.