Three Quarterbacks the Bucs May Target After Brady’s Retirement

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Before the 2020 season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers found themselves looking for stability and consistency at the quarterback position. For many years, Jameis Winston had the potential to setup receivers for big plays, but would also turn the ball over. The organization was very fortunate to find a stabilizing force in Tom Brady, who elected to leave the New England Patriots to join Tampa Bay before the 2020 campaign.

Now, the 45 year-old Brady has decided to call it a career, and the franchise is once again looking for a player to spearhead the next era of Buccaneers football.

Here are three quarterbacks that the team might target this offseason.

Derek Carr

There were a lot of problems with the Buccaneers offense last season, and one potential downside to having Brady compete in his age-45 season was his lack of willingness to hold the ball in the pocket. With talented wide receivers such as Mike Evans and Chris Godwin on the roster, sometimes allowing the play to develop for a few seconds longer will give them an opportunity to create separation. Tampa Bay was not willing to do that, sensibly, to protect their quarterback behind an inconsistent offensive line.

In 2023, Tampa Bay might look to someone who has proven to be one of the toughest players in the NFL, and plays through a myriad of bumps and bruises. Not that Brady wasn’t durable, but Derek Carr in his age-32 season will be much more confident in stepping up and waiting for plays to develop. With Davante Adams as his teammate last year with the Las Vegas Raiders, Carr set a career high in average intended air yards per pass attempt. He should continue to challenge downfield if he came to Tampa Bay.

Jimmy Garoppolo

Once upon a time, Jimmy Garoppolo was the handpicked heir apparent to Tom Brady. That felt like a very long time ago, and that scenario took place with the Patriots. Ironically, Garoppolo now serves as a viable option for a Tampa Bay team looking to move forward without Brady in 2023.

He has somewhat of a checkered injury history, but few quarterbacks in the NFL have had more success under center when healthy than Garoppolo. The Buccaneers built a strong team around the quarterback in recent seasons, and Garoppolo would be walking into a destination where the cupboard is stocked with ingredients. Choosing the experienced Garoppolo would keep Tampa Bay on a short list of contenders in the NFC.

Anthony Richardson

Instead of doubling down on their veteran-laded team, the Bucs may decide to send some of their proven talent to other teams in exchange for future assets. If that’s the direction they decide to go in, they might elect to start a younger player under center in 2023. They could choose to see what Kyle Trask brings to the table heading into his third season, or they could take a quarterback in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

If they go the latter route, Anthony Richardson out of the University of Florida might be someone they’d consider taking. He’s got a huge arm, and could fit in well with Evans and Godwin for the next several years.