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Now That Tom Brady Officially Retired, It's Time To Figure Out What's Next For The Buccaneers

Grant Halverson. Getty Images.

Tom Brady is the greatest player of all time. With his individual and team success, it's not even really a debate. He's won seven Super Bowls for two different franchises. And while Jerry, Hank, and Dave may pen pieces about how they loved him for his entire career while he was in New England, this blog will be about his time in Tampa and what it meant to me.

I love basketball, but the NFL has been my favorite sports for the past 25 years. That entire time, my heart has belonged to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I was fortunate early in my fandom and got to see my team in the playoffs for a few years and have that team win a Super Bowl 20 years ago. After that magical 2002 season, things went downhill for awhile. We had a couple nice years that would pop up on occasion, but overall it was over a decade of misery. Even when things were looking up with an established Head Coach in Lovie Smith coming off a great run in Chicago and having the #1 pick in what was thought to be a loaded QB Draft in 2015, things ended up the same way. 

But in 2019 Bruce Arians came out of retirement to join the Buccaneers and things started to change. It was clear that season that Jameis Winston wasn't the answer and things weren't going to change much with him after five seasons with the team. Winston was going into Free Agency and a real possibility to return despite his subpar performance. But the Bucs front office, led by GM Jason Licht has their eyes set on much bigger fish and landed the biggest of them all in Tom Brady. The team and culture immediately changed for the better and partnered with Arians, led the team to a Super Bowl win in their first season together. 

So thank you, Tom for the Super Bowl. But not only that. Thank you for changing our culture and making Tampa a destination again. Thank you for bringing respectability to the team I care most about in life. I am of the opinion he should be in the Buccaneers Ring of Honor and have his jersey retired. All that will come in due time, but what is next for the Buccaneers? 

Brady had extended his contract a few times to make more room for others, so the Bucs are on the hook for $35.1 million dollars dedicated to TB12 as part of the salary cap. That will either all be due in 2023 or if they re-do his contract they can throw ~$24.3 million dollars over the fence to 2024. Tampa Bay is currently projected to be ~$55 million dollars over the cap for this upcoming season.

Meanwhile, the Buccaneers have interviewed seven candidates for the vacant Offensive Coordinator position including former Bucs OC Todd Monken, Klint Kubiak, Jim Bob Cooter, Dan Pitcher, Keenan McCardell, Ronald Curry, and Sean Tierney. They also have only one Quarterback under contract next year in Kyle Trask. We haven't seen nearly enough of him so far.

It's unlikely that star QBs Lamar Jackson or Daniel Jones will be leaving their current teams and the Bucs don't have nearly enough cap room to afford them anyway. That also makes QBs likely to be traded like Aaron Rodgers and Derek Carr probably won't be moving south. So it'll likely be Trask, a veteran journeyman who is affordable, and maybe another QB from the Draft that competes for the gig. At this point, you have to wonder if the Bucs start selling pieces off for future assets. Buccaneer for life Mike Evans comes to mind as someone that could be dealt based on how the league is trending.

A lot is to be decided in what should be a very interesting off-season. I am fully confident in this front office and staff to put together a good long term vision for the franchise and I'm excited for what's to come. That being said, today the franchise's greatest Quarterback ever retired and I feel eternally grateful. Thank you Tom Brady, for everything.