The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking for a quarterback once again. Tom Brady decided to retire this offseason, and now the Bucs have to explore their options to replace him. However, head coach Bruce Arians made it clear that the door will remain open for Brady to return.
“That door is never closed. Whenever Tom wants to come back, he’s back. If Tom wants to come back, we’ll have plenty of money for him,” Arians said to reporters at the NFL scouting combine, adding that the two continue to communicate with each other. With Brady remaining in retirement mode, the Bucs must act as if he is not returning to the team for the time being.
They have three ways of replacing him. Pursue a veteran via trade or free agency, stick with the guys on the roster, or draft a quarterback in this year’s draft.
The Bucs have a few veteran options to pursue if they want to go that route. They could try to trade for Deshaun Watson. He did not play last season because of legal issues he had to deal with. He is still dealing with those issues, but they should get resolved well before the season starts. If Watson could play anything like he did when he last played football, the Buccaneers would have a perfect shot to win the Super Bowl. Another veteran option they could pursue is Jimmy Garoppolo.
He is a very solid quarterback. The only problem with Garoppolo is that he is not an elite quarterback, and he may prevent a team from reaching its ceiling. One final veteran option is Jameis Winston. He had an excellent year before he got hurt. There is familiarity with the coaching staff and Winston, so this could work out if they wanted to go that route. Winston also learned valuable skills as a quarterback from one of the best to play the position in Drew Brees.
The next option is to still with the quarterbacks on your roster. Blaine Gabbert is a competent backup quarterback, and that is it. Starting Gabbert would be a poor decision. They have a solid prospect in Kyle Trask. He sat behind Tom Brady and learned how to be a professional. Trask is a good fit for what Bruce Arians and the Bucs like to do on offense.
The final and least likely option is to draft a quarterback in this year’s class. If the Bucs did not have Trask on their roster, then drafting a quarterback in this year’s class would make more sense. This draft class is not very strong regarding the quarterback position. It would be a waste of a draft pick to take a quarterback when you can address other needs.
In the end, the Buccaneers need a quarterback, but they should probably get a veteran because they already have a young quarterback in Kyle Trask. This team can still compete for a Super Bowl with the right veteran quarterback. The conference is now significantly weaker due to Russell Wilson heading over to the AFC to play with the Denver Broncos.
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