TAMPA- The inevitable has finally occurred and now the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have to figure out life without him.
Tom Brady announced his official retirement from the National Football League after 22 seasons playing in the league, as the 7-time Super Bowl champion posted on his personal Instagram account. Brady played 20 seasons with the New England Patriots and two with the Buccaneers, but leaves behind a legacy that looks to be unmatched by any.
Brady joined the Buccaneers back in the spring of 2020 when Covid-19 started taking place around the country and it brought back a major sense of excitement to the Tampa Bay region. His signing also brought upon numerous veterans wanting to join the club, including players like Rob Gronkowski, Leonard Fournette, Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell and Giovanni Bernard.
Now with the retirement coming just after the conference championship games, the Buccaneers will be in search for a new starting quarterback and names of all kind have floated around on who could be behind ‘Door No. 2’ besides current quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert and Kyle Trask. Gabbert completed 7-of-11 passes for 67 yards in cleanup work this past regular season. Trask didn’t attempt a odd other than in preseason work.
Names that are being tied to the Buccaneers via impending free agency or trade scenarios are San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garappolo, Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers, Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson and even former Tampa Bay starter Jameis Winston, who played with the franchise from 2015-2019. With Brady gone, it looks to be that any and all options are on the table for the team.
It looked like at one time Tampa Bay may end up losing both of its coordinators in Byron Leftwich and Todd Bowles to head coaching vacancies around the league, but neither has been offered a job as of yet. If both return, Tampa Bay could retain one of the strongest coaching staffs in the NFL and getting a veteran quarterback in play could become more feasible.
One other big issue with Brady’s retirement is also decisions by players on whether they will stay or go elsewhere now that the former has retired. Gronkowski has stated he loved his time in Tampa Bay, but will take some time before making a decision. Big decisions will have to be made by general manager Jason Licht on whether to bring back some big names, including players like Fournette and wide receiver Chris Godwin, who tore his ACL in the regular season.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.