TAMPA- When the greatest quarterback in National Football League’s history retires from your team, looking for the heir apparent is no easy task. That’s what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are now faced with, as Tom Brady has decided after 22 seasons to hang the cleats up.
Now the big question for Buccaneers’ general manager Jason Licht and head coach Bruce Arians is who will be the next starting quarterback for Tampa Bay? There are a couple of options on the table that are already on the roster in backup Blaine Gabbert and draft pick Kyle Trask. But to stay in the window of seriously contending for a Super Bowl, the Buccaneers may need to venture outside of their own roster respectively.
With so many questions lingering and needing to be answered, we’ve gathered a list of potential candidates for the next starting quarterback in Tampa Bay. There are so many names we could throw into the equation, but we have limited that list to the names and scenarios down below.
Gabbert or Trask: One would think this is the most likely scenario because they both have played under Brady and would know the nuances of the offense. Problem with Gabbert: he is a former first-round draft pick and has started on multiple teams already without much success (Jaguars, Cardinals, 49ers). Trask needs a bit more time before being thrown in the fire.
Teddy Bridgewater: This was an option on the table before the Buccaneers landed Brady back in 2020. Now Tampa Bay is once again looking for a signal-caller and Bridgewater is an unrestricted free agent. Bridgewater is a good bridge quarterback for the next signal-caller to get up to speed, but for the long term, he isn’t the likely option.
Jameis Winston: Yes, Jameis Winston. You heard it here first, the former Tampa Bay starter coming back home is a distinct possibility when taking a look at the Buccaneers’ situation, Winston could be the best option. Tampa Bay needs someone who can push the ball downfield and at a lower price tag. Winston could be had for a much lower price tag than what Brady commanded and before tearing his ACL, he had 14 touchdowns and only three interceptions.
Jimmy Garappolo: Top betting services believe this is a match made in heaven, as the San Francisco 49ers quarterback has worn out his welcome out west. Many believe the former New England Patriot could come over to Tampa after leading the 49ers to multiple NFC Conference Championship games. Is it conceivable another quarterback from New England (initially) could come to Tampa?
Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson: I have these two listed together because they are two long shots that everyone in the Tampa Bay Area is heavily praying will come to Tampa on a discount deal. Seeing that both quarterbacks want to be paid like the top signal-callers they are and Tampa Bay needing to re-sign a slew of players unless Rodgers or Wilson takes a big pay cut, it’s just not feasible seeing either in Tampa Bay.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.