4. Baker Mayfield, Los Angeles Rams (2023 free agent)
Many Denver Broncos fans were furious when the team decided not to use its high waiver priority on Baker Mayfield this past year, especially because the team could have used him or gotten a look at him down the stretch of the season. Although, in hindsight, what does it really matter, right?
It’s not like the Broncos kept the offensive staff intact.
At any rate, the Rams made what I believe to be a wise move by claiming Mayfield and he provided some excitement for that franchise down the stretch. I would be shocked if Sean McVay and company didn’t have a leg up on re-signing Mayfield this offseason as the backup to Matthew Stafford, but I could also see a scenario where the former top overall pick could be a great fit in Denver behind Russell Wilson.
You look at the size profile of the two guys and you see the obvious similarities. You also look at the fact that — like all of the players on this list — Mayfield could significantly benefit from playing for a coach like Sean Payton, who builds the offense to his player’s strengths.
In Los Angeles, Mayfield would be running an offense — Sean McVay’s offense — that can be adjusted to Mayfield’s weaknesses but it wouldn’t necessarily be built around his strengths. Although that offense, in particular, seems to suit Baker’s game pretty well.
The difference in Denver is, you’re not molding the player to the scheme, you’re molding the scheme to the player. And Sean Payton has done a good job of that throughout his career, and frankly, that’s what Baker Mayfield needs.
Many Broncos fans have been enamored by Mayfield since the lead-up to the 2018 NFL Draft when it seemed the Broncos might have an actual shot at him. He ended up going 1st overall to the Browns, but this could now be the second chance the Broncos have to grab him and get him into their program. With Sean Payton at the helm, it may make more sense now than ever.