The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been left with a major void after Tom Brady retired, and they may try to fill it with one of the top veteran quarterbacks on the free-agent market.
Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reported on Sunday that the Bucs will explore the possibility of signing Jimmy Garoppolo. Their salary cap situation could make that difficult, however.
“The plan for Tampa Bay is to retool while still competing. This has been the plan for a couple of years,” Garafolo said. “They knew they were going to have to pay these debts at some point. They will be in the veteran quarterback market.
Jimmy Garoppolo is one of the players that they like, but they just may not have the finances to get it done.”
The Buccaneers pushed a lot of their salary cap issues down the road while trying to maximize the time they had with Brady.
The Super Bowl LVII @NFLGameDay Notebook: Aaron Rodgers heads into the darkness Monday with a decision looming; The #Bucs will retool and get their books in order; Could the #Ravens trade Lamar Jackson?; Baltimore matching an offer sheet could actually be the result. pic.twitter.com/BdF6AGRank
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 12, 2023
Now that Brady has retired and the Bucs do not have the option of signing him to an extension, they will be left with a dead cap hit of $35M. That has contributed to Tampa Bay being way over the salary cap heading into 2023.
Tampa Bay would have to get extremely creative and/or move on from a lot of players in order to free up the cap space needed to sign Garoppolo. The 31-year-old quarterback is expected to be pursued by at least one other team, which should drive us price up quite a bit.