Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has retired from the NFL. Brady will go down as arguably the best to ever sling it. But where do interested parties go from here?
While we all wish Tom Brady the best in his retirement, the initial reaction from fans of the Buccaneers, Raiders, 49ers and Patriots is simple — where do we go from here?
Brady was expected to be one of the top veteran quarterbacks available this offseason. Even at 46 years old, he’s proven that in the right offense, he’s a capable signal-caller and can lead a contender to the promised land.
TB12 took a noticeable step back last season, and his personal life suffered as well. Whether that played a role in his retirement decision is unknown. Early on Wednesday morning, Brady announced that he will hang up his cleats — for good this time.
The emotional future Hall of Famer gave everything he had to the gridiron.
Buccaneers replacements for Tom Brady
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers don’t have many options at quarterback without Brady on the roster. Blaine Gabbert was the longtime backup for TB12, with former Florida Gators QB Kyle Trask behind him. The best bet for Tampa would be to bring in a fresh face.
Here are the Bucs best options to replace Brady, in descending order:
Buccaneers should trade for Derek Carr
Derek Carr is readily available for any team that wants him, and his price tag just went up a bit knowing that Brady is off the market. The lack of Pro Bowl-caliber passers available (and Carr was just elected to yet another) will drive up the Raiders asking price for a player like Carr, who tied for third in MVP voting after the 2016-17 season. While he’s taken a step back since then, Carr is the most viable option to replace Brady, minus Aaron Rodgers.
Buccaneers should trade up for C.J. Stroud
Because Tampa Bay’s roster was tailor-made for Brady, they also have a capable bunch that is one quarterback away from another playoff run. Chris Godwin and Mike Evans make for a solid duo in the passing game when healthy. Leonard Fournette is a bruiser of a running back, and not bad in pass protection, either. By trading their No. 19 overall selection, along with a number of other picks in future drafts, Tampa can land their quarterback of the future in C.J. Stroud with a roster that, for the most part, already has the players necessary to give the Ohio State product the help he needs to grow and develop. Why wait?
Buccaneers should sign Jimmy Garoppolo
Jimmy Garoppolo has already proven he can take a team to the Super Bowl when he has the necessary tools. Jimmy G will not carry said group — if anything it’s the other way around — but he’ll make the right throws. In an NFC which lacks stable QB play minus Jalen Hurts and a few others, Garoppolo should be capable enough to lead this Bucs team back to the Wild Card round and arguably further. Better yet, Garoppolo should come at a discounted price, and allows the Buccaneers to hold onto their draft picks rather than fork them over for another veteran. It makes the most sense and, in the end, should be what Jason Licht chooses to do.
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