Sterling Shepard: Baker Mayfield text led to signing with Bucs

Sterling Shepard credited quarterback Baker Mayfield for putting the wheels in motion that led to the veteran wide receiver signing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Shepard told the New York Post that Mayfield reached out to him last week.

“I got a text from my boy and I just thought it was (a) ‘regular old checking in to see how I was doing’ type of text, because we do that from time to time to each other,” Shepard said.

That text was followed by another in which Mayfield inquired about Shepard’s physical well-being, with the question posted of “do you think you got any more (football) left in you?” Shepard’s agent contacted the Buccaneers, and soon a one-year deal was on the table.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Shepard said of playing for the Bucs. “It’s a new scene. I can’t say I wanted to experience that, I always wanted to be a Giant but I’m not mad at it, man. It’s a really good situation, they have a really good football team, really talented football team and I get to be reunited with my boy and get to play with him a little bit.”

Shepard, 31, and Mayfield, 29, were teammates at Oklahoma, with the former reeling in 86 passes for 1,288 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015. Mayfield started all 13 games that season.

Shepard had just 10 catches for 57 yards and one touchdown in 15 games last season with New York.

He has 372 receptions for 4,095 yards and 23 scores in 90 career games since being selected by the Giants in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft.