The ex-Patriot and current Buccaneer’s quarterback and soon to be Hall of Famer Tom Brady has retired and it looks like it will stick this time around. Retirement or a move to a new team appeared to be the most likely outcomes for Brady, so the Buccaneers have likely been on the trail of their 2023 starter for a while now. But who might that be?
Current Buccaneers QBs
Tampa Bay invested in Brady and other pieces to help them win quickly, so a backup quarterback to take over wasn’t high on their list, so the depth chart isn’t great. Blaine Gabbert is the backup and could start, but he and Kyle Trask, who is next on the depth chart, don’t seem to be starting material. Gabbert is a free agent, but they could retain him as the backup fairly easily if they want, but they will be looking for a stronger starter this offseason.
Free agent QBs
The list of free agent QBs isn’t overwhelming, but there are a few names worth giving a look. Lamar Jackson is the pie in the sky option that won’t happen. Geno Smith might be a possibility, but the Seahawks will likely want to re-sign him after a good 2023. The same can be said for Daniel Jones and the Giants. Jimmy Garoppolo could be right up their alley, but there will be other teams wanting to give him a shot as well.
After that group, it gets pretty ugly, with Sam Darnold, Taylor Heinicke, Baker Mayfield, Teddy Bridgewater and the like. All useful backups, but you don’t want to go into the season with them as your No. 1.
Trading for a QB
The biggest possible trade piece at the position this off season is Aaron Rodgers, but there is no chance that Rodgers follows Brady to Tampa and tried to repeat what he’s already done with a lesser group of talent.
The most-likely trade would be for the Raiders QB Derek Carr. We know that Carr is out of Las Vegas and the team will either need to trade him by February 15th or cut him to save $40 million in cap space. The Bucs may understand that getting someone better than Carr is going to be a tough ask this offseason and work to make a deal.
2023 NFL Draft
Tampa Bay has the 19th overall pick, so there is a chance to grab a quarterback, but there’s also a chance their draft pick is too late to get someone they want. Trading up is a possibility of course, but the team would be giving up draft capital that they aren’t in abundant supply of. They will likely need to get into the Top 10 to get one of the Top 4 QBs unless they really fall in love with someone not named Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Will Levis, Anthony Richardson