The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could soon land a two-time Pro Bowl quarterback.
As Tom Brady potentially enters his last season, the Buccaneers will likely have to make a move for a veteran quarterback in 2023. According to Dallas Robinson of Pro Football Network, the Buccaneers hypothetically could land Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff. The former No. 1 overall pick technically isn’t a free agent until the 2025 season. However, the Lions could move on from Goff this offseason with just a $10 million dead cap hit.
Robinson predicted in his September 3 story that the Buccaneers likely won’t land an early first-round pick in next year’s draft, leading Tampa Bay to seek a veteran option such as Goff.
“Unless Brady gets hurt, the Bucs won’t have the chance to land an early first-round quarterback, so they’d likely be searching for a veteran option,” Robinson wrote. “Goff is no one’s idea of a superstar, but he’s had NFL success and has the size and arm to fit in Tampa’s system.”
Why Goff Could Be Appealing to Buccaneers
Robinson speculated that the Buccaneers could inherit Goff’s current contract via trade. In that scenario, Goff wouldn’t be “very expensive.” Goff’s current deal has him as the 11th-highest paid quarterback for the 2023 season.
“Goff wouldn’t be very expensive, either,” Robinson wrote. “The Bucs would essentially get him on a one-year, $25.65 million deal with a de facto team option worth $26.65 million in 2024. Yet to turn 28 years old, Goff would part reclamation project, part bridge quarterback for Tampa Bay.”
Goff isn’t the most exciting option, but he is an experienced starter with a proven track record of winning. The 27-year-old led the Rams to a Super Bowl appearance at the conclusion of the 2018 season and actually led the league in yards per pass completion during the 2017 season while leading the NFL in pass attempts during the 2019 season.
In addition to his playoff experience — he has appeared in six playoff games while leading the Rams to three playoff appearances — he has 83 career starts under his belt.
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2023 Free Agency QB Class Is Underwhelming
Assuming Brady retires at the conclusion of the season, Tampa Bay’s veteran options in free agency are very limited. The top quarterbacks in the free agency class of 2023 are Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold and Jimmy Garoppolo. With the exception of Garoppolo, neither of those quarterbacks comes close to Goff’s resume when it comes to winning.
Entering the 2023 season, the Buccaneers should once again possess a playoff-ready roster. Essentially the team’s entire core is under contract next season with the exception of linebacker Lavonte David and cornerback Jamel Dean.
While Kyle Trask was drafted with the intention he’d eventually replace Brady as the franchise quarterback, he has yet to illustrate that he’s ready to take over. While playing largely against second and third-string defensive units, Trask struggled during the preseason, throwing one touchdown and two interceptions while taking seven sacks on 67 pass attempts. His 76.5 quarterback rating was substantially lower than Blaine Gabbert’s 113.6 rating.
Barring the Buccaneers making a major trade for a superstar quarterback, the idea of Tampa Bay acquiring Goff becomes more appealing. Such a move probably wouldn’t win the Buccaneers a Super Bowl, but it could keep the team in playoff contention as it seek theirs it next franchise quarterback.