Tampa Bay having its quarterback plan in place might win understatement of the year, but one NFL analyst alluded to a wild trade idea regardless.
Pro Football Talk’s Chris Simms suggested a reason for the Buccaneers to acquire Nick Foles as a backup to Tom Brady. “The only good thing about Nick Foles joining the Bucs is that Tom Brady might finally shake his hand,” Simms said on the show last month.
Simms played off of Brady’s history of not shaking Foles’ hand following notable losses for the Bucs quarterback. Brady avoided Foles after the Bucs lost to the Bears 20-19 in Week 5 last season. The same happened in Super Bowl LII when Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles out-gunned Brady and the New England Patriots 41-33. Brady threw for a whopping Super Bowl record of 505 yards in that loss.
While adding Foles may provide an opportunity to address a sportsmanship issue, the Bucs simply don’t have room for Foles. The Bucs have four quarterbacks under contract going into training camp next week in Brady, Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Griffin, and Kyle Trask.
Griffin is very much on the roster bubble in Tampa per ESPN’s Jenna Laine. She noted that Griffin will likely need to beat out Gabbert for a roster spot. The Bucs traded up to draft Trask in the second round in April.
Foles, ironically, is on the roster bubble in Chicago since the Bears acquired Justin Fields in the draft and Andy Dalton from the Dallas Cowboys. Since those acquisitions, Foles has become a subject of trade rumors.
Clearly, Simms took this take Foles joining the Bucs far less seriously than other wild ones involving the Bucs quarterback position.
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Simms’ Wild Ideas for the Bucs
Simms suggested before the NFL Draft that Justin Fields could land with the Bucs. Fields went much higher than No. 32 as the Chicago Bears selected him at No. 15.
Simms also ranked Brady low on the NFL quarterback totem pole for 2021 at 10th overall for the Top 40 Quarterbacks. The analyst justified it because of Brady’s inconsistency before the final run to the Super Bowl last season. Quarterbacks ranking ahead of Brady included Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson, Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray, Matthew Stafford, and Dak Prescott. Right behind Brady came Justin Herbert, Ryan Tannehill, Baker Mayfield, Derek Carr, and Matt Ryan to round out the top 15.
Brady Bucs quarterback shows up much higher in other preseason rankings such as No. 2 with Pro Football Focus behind Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs. ESPN ranks Brady at No. 3 behind Mahomes and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Bucs QB Room Snapshot
After Brady, the Bucs have three viable backup quarterbacks with the possibility of someone being out before the season kicks off.
Gabbert re-signed with the team after playing in mop-up duty against Detroit last season. The former first-round pick has 48 career starts and has impressed Bucs leadership. General manager Jason Licht alluded to Gabbert having a bigger future with the team.
Griffin also re-signed this offseason. He’s been with the Bucs since 2015 but has played sparingly in the regular season but showed promise in preseason games.
Trask caught the eyes of Bucs leadership in the pre-draft process, and Bucs head coach Bruce Arians liked what he saw of the former Florida start during minicamps. Speculation abounds that he could succeed Brady as the Bucs starter someday.