Buccaneers Predicted to Make Bold Move for Former $137 Million QB

Tom Brady

Getty Buccaneers senior advisor Bruce Arians the team's front office will still look for a veteran quarterback after Tom Brady's retirement.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers rumors are heating up with the team already being linked to former No. 1 pick Baker Mayfield, but the franchise could explore adding other veteran signal-callers as well. CBS Sports offered “four bold predictions” heading into free agency and has 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo signing with the Bucs.

“There was a report this week that the Panthers, Raiders and Texans will likely all be interested in adding Garoppolo, but that’s not where [CBS Sport’ Ryan Wilson] has him going,” CBS Sports’ John Breech detailed on March 13, 2023. “Wilson has him going to the Buccaneers. The Bucs definitely need a quarterback and unlike the other three teams listed above, they don’t have a top-10 pick in the draft, which means if they want to add a QB, it will likely have to be in free agency, which is why Garoppolo could make sense.”

Garoppolo was previously on a five-year, $137.5 million deal with the 49ers but agreed to restructure his contract last offseason to earn a $7 million salary in 2022. The obvious road block for the Buccaneers in landing Garoppolo or another appealing veteran is the team’s lack of cap space. Yet, it remains to be seen how much money Garoppolo will command on the open market.

Jimmy G Is Pushing for a $25 Million Salary: Report

If Aaron Rodgers is traded to the Jets, the potential landing spots with a pathway to a starting job continues to shrink for Garoppolo. ESPN’s Field Yates reported that Garoppolo could command an average annual salary starting at $25 million.

This would clearly price the Bucs out of the Jimmy G sweepstakes if this report holds true. According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, Garoppolo is seeking a $25 million salary but could consider an incentive-laden deal as a compromise.

“I’ve heard Garoppolo’s camp is shooting for $25 million per year. I think maybe he’ll do a deal with lower base pay but a chance to get close to there with incentives,” Breer wrote on March 13.

The Buccaneers Plan to ‘Check in’ on Quarterbacks Beyond Baker Mayfield, Says Insider

The Bucs have been heavily linked to Mayfield, but NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported the team also has a short list of additional veterans they will contact in free agency. Mayfield remains the favorite for the Bucs to sign on a short-term deal given the team’s less than ideal salary cap situation.

“The Buccaneers are looking for a veteran free agent QB at the right price,” Garafolo tweeted on March 12. “They have a few guys they’ll check in on but Baker Mayfield could wind up making the most sense from a fit and financial standpoint.”

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Tampa Bay is targeting Mayfield to compete with Kyle Trask to be the team’s new starting quarterback. Trask remains the lone Bucs quarterback on the roster heading into free agency.

“When free agency begins, the Bucs are expected to target ex-Rams QB Baker Mayfield as a potential starting QB option, per me and @MikeGarafolo,” Rapoport detailed on March 12. “This could be competition for Kyle Trask, their former 2nd-round pick, who the team likes a lot. As TB plots life without Tom Brady.”