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Lavonte David: Baker Mayfield is "great for our locker room"

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Buccaneers safety Antoine Winfield Jr. recently described the competition between quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask as a 50-50 proposition. Another defensive player has explained that Mayfield has one big factor in his favor.

“Obviously, Baker already he’s been ‘the guy’ and, you know, he’s expected to live up to what everybody expected him to be,” David said in an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio, via JoeBucsFan.com. “Baker is great for our locker room. I like the way Baker carries himself coming in with a ready-to-work mentality. Everybody loves him already and the way he approaches practice is great to see. So there’s definitely some great things to see out of Baker.

"He’s a guy who’s done it before — took his team to the playoffs and done some great things so far. So the competition with those guys is going to be very, very competitive and I’m glad to be a part of it. . . . During minicamp it was really fun to see, man, those guys are really having fun with it and they’re helping each other throughout the way. So that’s definitely something I love to see, as well.”

It's unclear why the competition is so wide open. Mayfield was the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, and a starter for most of his four years in Cleveland. He has had two very good seasons, one bad season, one season marred by injury, and then in 2022 a strange, nomadic existence. Trask was a second-round pick in 2021, and his is fully unproven, untested, and inexperienced.

Earlier in the offseason, new coordinator Dave Canales suggested that there’s a political element to the competition, with Trask's draft status earning him more of a chance than perhaps the circumstances would require.

Regardless, at some point the Bucs need to pick a horse and get him ready to run for Week One. Unless, of course, Tom Brady decides to try to join the race after it starts.

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