Should The Bucs Draft, Sign, or Trade for Brady’s Replacement?
Written By: Benedetto Vitale – Twitter (TalksVitale)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are fresh off of a Super Bowl win and the offseason is officially underway. The front office will do its best to maintain the roster that just won the championship, while also reloading the team with new talent.
Tom Brady’s age is no secret across the NFL world. He’s well into his mid-40s now, making him the oldest player in the league. It sounds like Brady will be playing one more year, as he attempts to secure an eighth Super Bowl title under his belt.
With that said, the Buccaneers need to consider finding Brady’s heir sooner, rather than later. This would give Tampa Bay a huge advantage in terms of depth. Once Brady leaves, the front office will have to find his replacement. So why not do it this year?
There are three routes the front office could choose to go. First, they could elect a rookie quarterback in the NFL draft this offseason. With a ton of talented QBs this year, it’s possible the Bucs select a stud to replace Brady. Second, they could look towards the free-agent market, possibly giving another NFL quarterback to redeem himself. And lastly, the front office could choose to trade for a QB to sit and learn behind Brady for one year.
Here are three potential quarterbacks that could be Tom Brady’s heir for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Does Mac Jones Get Drafted by Tampa Bay?
As we approach the NFL draft, the Tampa Bay front office will have to decide if selecting a QB is the right approach. Mac Jones is projected to go anywhere within the late first-round through the mid-second round. So if the Bucs believe Jones can be that guy, they’re likely to use their first-round pick to select him.
In Chris Trapasso’s article for CBS Sports, he explains Jones’ current draft stock. He claims, “Could Jones land on a good team late in round one, sit for a season, and ultimately become a successful passer? Yes. But he’s going to need a lot of assets around him.”
With that said, the Buccaneers’ offense would be a perfect situation for the former Alabama quarterback. The offense is loaded with talent, and the offensive line should be much more improved by the time Mac Jones takes over as the starter. Considering how good he was at getting the ball to DeVonta Smith, Jones could thrive throwing deep to Mike Evans in the NFL.
Mitchell Trubisky Signs with the Bucs?
Another route the Bucs front office could go is signing a free agent QB like Mitchell Trubisky. I know he’s not the hottest name, but there’s a possibility he lands with the Buccaneers to learn for a year. This may become the new thing for struggling quarterbacks in the league, as we witnessed Jameis Winston do the same at the New Orleans Saints.
Luckily for Trubisky, the 2020 season wasn’t the worst by any means. Tommy Garrett, an author for Pro Football Network explains by saying, “While he did end the season on a higher note, it’s uncertain if it was enough to keep him in the Windy City.” Although this is true, there should still be a market for Trubisky this offseason.
This would be the best-case scenario for Trubisy’s career. He would have the privilege of sitting behind the best QB in football for a year, learning and adapting, and possibly getting his career back on track.
Furthermore, Trubisky seems to play better when moving around in the backfield, whether that’s from bootlegs, or keeping the play alive with his legs. The Buccaneers offensive coordinator, Byron Leftwich, is a smart OC that could design an offense suitable for Trubisky. Buccaneers fans may not love this idea, but it’d be worth a shot after Brady’s retirement.
The Buccaneers Trade for Sam Darnold?
The final option for the Bucs replacement for Brady could be Sam Darnold. Another name that’s not too exciting, but hear me out. Most of Darnold’s struggles this year aren’t fully on him. Since being drafted to the New York Jets, the front office hasn’t built a supporting cast around him to help him succeed.
For Darnold, finding a new home is likely best for his career. Furthermore, he’s only 23 years old, meaning he still has some time to figure it out at the pro level. Playing behind Brady for a year could be detrimental to Darnold’s career, and could rejuvenize him completely.
Additionally, Darnold comes at a cheap price the Bucs could afford. Adam Wells, a writer for Bleacher Report proclaims, “Darnold is under contract for at least one more season, though the team has until May fourth to decide if it will exercise the fifth-year option on his rookie deal for 2022.” That’s a deal that won’t break the Bucs bank, giving them enough cap space to maintain their talented roster.
Darnold has shown flashes of brilliancy. Taking a year off and learning may be exactly what he needs. If this trade comes to fruition, there is a possibility the Buccaneers steal Darnold away, then continue to have a legitimate career for them.