Rams' Baker Mayfield Has 'No Doubt' That He's Good Enough to Be Starting NFL QB

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 9, 2023

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - JANUARY 08: Baker Mayfield #17 of the Los Angeles Rams looks to throw the ball during the first quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field on January 08, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images)
Jane Gershovich/Getty Images

Baker Mayfield's roller-coaster ride of the past two seasons came to a close with him showing signs of improvement on the Los Angeles Rams, and he believes he can start somewhere in 2023.

"I have no doubt about that," he said after Sunday's loss to the Seattle Seahawks, per Sarah Barshop of ESPN. "Today, I'm not real happy with how I played. I'm going to kick myself over and over for not putting that ball on the sideline for Van [Jefferson] on that last play. But, no, I know I'm a starting quarterback. I'm confident in that. And we'll just see what happens."

Los Angeles claimed Mayfield off waivers on Dec. 6 with Matthew Stafford sidelined by injury, and he completed 63.6 percent of his passes for 850 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions in five games.

Yet Stafford figures to return in 2023 and retake his spot as the starting quarterback, meaning the Oklahoma product may have to go elsewhere if he plans on starting.

But that isn't a guarantee at this point.

"I'm not going to just go chase a check to go start and play," Mayfield said. "After seeing a place that makes me have fun playing football again, it's going to be hard to try something else new, but obviously it's going to be a big-time decision."

It is notable he said he had fun playing football again for the Rams.

After all, his 2021 campaign was defined by the Cleveland Browns failing to live up to expectations with Odell Beckham Jr.'s father posting a video of the quarterback missing the wide receiver on a number of throws.

Cleveland then traded Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers this offseason, and he went 1-5 as a starter with six touchdown passes and six interceptions for the NFC South team before he was released.

There wasn't much pressure in Los Angeles for a team that won the Super Bowl last season and was simply playing out the string in a lost and injury-marred campaign by the time Mayfield arrived, but he still looked much better than he did in Carolina.

Perhaps it was enough to convince a team to make him a starter in 2023.