The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in the market for a new starting quarterback, as Tom Brady officially announced his retirement from the NFL on Feb. 1. Arguably the greatest quarterback in the game's history, Brady arrived in Tampa Bay after spending 20 years with the Patriots. The Buccaneers won the Super Bowl in Brady's debut for the 2020 NFL season but came up short of a repeat after a loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Divisional Round. Brady ends his NFL career with 84,520 passing yards, 624 touchdown passes, and seven Super Bowl rings, among countless other accolades and records.
Who could replace Brady in Tampa Bay next season? Below are some potential candidates through free agency, trade, or the draft.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Who Will Replace Tom Brady as the Team's Starting QB in 2022?
Tier I - The Internal Favorites
Trask was a second-round pick by the Buccaneers last season but essentially took a "redshirt" year as he did not play a snap in 2021. Is Trask ready to start after a season of learning the ropes?
Gabbert was Tampa Bay's No. 2 quarterback in 2021 and played in six games, connecting on seven of 11 throws for 67 yards. The former first-round pick of the Jaguars seems like a longshot to be a full-time starter next year.
Tier II - Experienced or Veteran QBs That Could be Available
Carr is signed for only one more season with the Raiders. How does the hire of new head coach Josh McDaniels and a new general manager impact the long-term plan in Las Vegas?
The Vikings will have a new head coach and general manager in 2022, leading to plenty of speculation about Cousins' future with the team.
Would the Bucs pursue a reunion with Fitzpatrick? "Fitzmagic" played in Tampa Bay from 2017-18 and tossed 24 scores over 14 games. After signing with the Washington Football Team in the offseason, Fitzpatrick suffered a season-ending hip injury in the opener.
Are the 49ers ready for 2021 first-round pick Trey Lance to take over as the No. 1 QB?
Minshew is under contract with the Eagles for 2022, but with Jalen Hurts entrenched as the starter, he could be available via trade this offseason.
Could the Buccaneers trade one superstar quarterback for another?
Watson is mired in legal issues, which will need to be resolved before any NFL team acquires him for 2022. The Texans also reportedly want a hefty return in any trade for the former first-round pick.
Wilson's future with the Seahawks has been the source of speculation for the last two years. A trade with Seattle to acquire Wilson would come at a significant price for Tampa Bay.
Could a reunion with Winston be in the cards for the Bucs? The former Tampa Bay signal-caller suffered a season-ending injury with the Saints this year and is slated to be a free agent this offseason.
Other Free-Agent QBs Who Could be Veteran Backup Additions
Teddy Bridgewater, Jacoby Brissett, Andy Dalton, Nick Foles and Tyrod Taylor
Tier III - Options Through the Draft
The Buccaneers drafted Trask last season, but could they pursue another pick if one falls to them in the draft? Tampa Bay is slated to pick No. 27 this April. If the front office looks to draft a new signal-caller early on, here are some of the top signal-callers that should be on the list for Tampa Bay's draft board:
Matt Corral, Ole Miss
Sam Howell, North Carolina
Kenny Pickett, Pitt
Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati
Carson Strong, Nevada
Malik Willis, Liberty