The show must go on in Tampa Bay.
If pending free agent Tom Brady retires or signs with another team in the offseason, the Bucs will have an opening at QB.
Here’s who could be taking snaps for Tampa Bay in 2023:
In October, Brady said “there’s no retirement in my future.” Despite the Bucs 6-7 record and Brady’s 2022 tablet-smashing frenzy, we could see the 45-year-old return to Tampa Bay for a 24th season.
This probably depends on how the rest of the season plays out. The Bucs are somehow still leading NFC South, but they looked far from a serious playoff contender in a blowout loss Sunday to the 49ers.
If they miraculously turn things around, Brady may be inclined to run it back with his Super Bowl LV teammates.
Second on Tampa Bay’s depth chart, Gabbert probably was the short-term solution when Brady first retired. In 10 regular-season appearances as a Buc since 2020, Gabbert completed 16 of 27 passes for 210 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions.
The 33-year-old has yet to cement himself as a reliable starting option and has bounced among the Jaguars, 49ers, Cardinals and Titans since entering the league in 2011.
Ahead of the season, head coach Todd Bowles and quarterback coach Clyde Christensen said they were more “comfortable” with Gabbert as Brady’s backup than the next guy on this list.
The 2021 second-rounder, who has yet to make his regular-season debut for the Bucs, has thrown for two touchdowns and four interceptions in six preseason games.
NFL film analyst Greg Cosell said the former Florida quarterback has above-average arm strength, timing and rhythm but lacks velocity and ability to play from contested pockets.
Bowles said Gabbert’s experience gives him “the edge” over Trask, but added that he was impressed by how the 24-year-old managed the game in a preseason loss to the Dolphins and “didn’t get rattled.”
The Bucs are estimated to be $40 million over the cap space next season, so they’d have to make some moves if they wanted to land Jimmy G, a pending free agent.
Garoppolo’s name circulated in the NFL rumor mill as a possible landing point when Brady initially retired. Jimmy G, however, returned to the 49ers to back up second-year QB Trey Lance. With Lance’s probable return in 2023 and Brock Purdy turning heads, the 31-year-old veteran may be looking for a new team.
CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson said the Bucs will target a passer in the 2023 NFL Draft. His latest mock had Tampa Bay adding another Gator to the depth chart, Anthony Richardson.