Life after Tom Brady. This is what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are now facing after Brady finally announced his retirement at the end of last season. It was only 3 short years but you can call the Tom Brady era in Tampa Bay a success. After all, Brady delivered a Super Bowl to the Buccaneers and brought them back into relevancy.
Now comes the hard part, finding the next quarterback to lead the team. Can Tampa Bay be successful in the post-Brady era? Let’s break that down further and offer a record prediction for the 2023-2024 season.
The strength of this Buccaneers team going forward will be at the wide receiver position. Veterans Mike Evans and Chris Godwin have been an excellent 1-2 punch when they are both healthy. Health is always a key but especially for these two as the depth behind them is not great. Evans is coming off another 1,000+ receiving yards season where had hauled in 6 touchdowns. Regardless of who the quarterback is they know they can rely on Evans when needed. The 6-5 Evans is still one of the best in the NFL at contested catches and had a 95.1 PFF grade on go-routes. He can still get down the field despite his age.
As of now, it looks as though Baker Mayfield will get the starting quarterback duties for the Buccaneers. At this point in his career, we know what Mayfield is. He’s a serviceable QB who struggles with turnovers and is no longer as mobile as he used to be.
In 2022, Mayfield had a QBR of 24.5 the lowest of his career along with a sack rate of 9.7% the highest of his career. If I were the Bucs I would’ve started Kyle Trask to at least see what they have in him. Regardless of who they roll out there, it’s tough to see Tampa Bay being successful until they upgrade the quarterback position.
This will be a tough season for the Buccaneers despite the NFC South being one of the weakest divisions in the NFL. Tampa Bay still has talent on both sides of the ball that will keep them in games. Ultimately it won’t be good enough and I wouldn’t be surprised if they trade some of their stars.
2023 Record: (5-12 4th in the Division)