Tampa Bay Buccaneers and NFC South Snubbed in MVP Candidate Rankings?

According to early projections, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and NFC South are playing in an MVP-less division.
Baker Mayfield and the Buccaneers agreed to a three-year contract this offseason.
Baker Mayfield and the Buccaneers agreed to a three-year contract this offseason. / Tork Mason / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Most wouldn't expect Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield to be an early NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award candidate, but then again, he's never been one to worry much about outside expectations.

But it turns out the Buccaneers and Mayfield are playing in a candidate-less division as the NFC South was completely held out of the early rankings of quarterback MVP candidates, according to NFL.com's Nick Shook.

READ MORE: Buccaneers Season-Opener Odds

While Tampa Bay and the rest of the division don't have any quarterback nominees, here are the 10 that did make Shook's list.

1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

2. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

3. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

4. C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans

5. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins

6. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

7. Anthony Richardson, Indianapolis Colts

8. Jared Goff, Detroit Lions

9. Jordan Love, Green Bay Packers

10. Aaron Rodgers, New York Jets

Baker Mayfield and the Buccaneers agreed to a three-year contract this offseason.
Baker Mayfield and the Buccaneers agreed to a three-year contract this offseason. / Tork Mason / USA TODAY NETWORK

Now, we could certainly discuss the merits of this list or even the presence of certain candidates on it over Mayfield, but there's also the absence of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Kirk Cousins that stands out.

Given how much hype surrounds the Falcons, Cousins, and their expected dominance in the NFC South, we'd think he'd make the top 10 over guys like Richardson who missed a significant portion of his lone season due to injury.

READ MORE: The Toughest Stretch for the Buccaneers in 2024

Burrow also missed a significant portion of his season last year with the Bengals, so seeing him so highly ranked while Mayfield misses the list altogther is a little puzzling. Especially after leading the Bucs to an NFC South Division title and into the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs just last year.

The last NFC South player to win the award was Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan in 2016.

Stick with BucsGameday for more coverage of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throughout the offseason.

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David Harrison

DAVID HARRISON

David Harrison has been in sports media since 2015 using written, audio, and video media to cover athletes, coaches, and games. In addition to covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for BucsGameday and Locked On Bucs he also covers the Washington Commanders for Commander Country and Locked On Commanders and the Washington Wizards for Inside the Wizards. David also covers the NFL as a whole as one of the Friday hosts for Locked On NFL. He is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University and previously spent 20 years as an active member of the United States Army. Contact David via email at david.w.harrison82@gmail.com or on Twitter @DHarrison82.