TAMPA, Fla — This story was originally published on Jan. 30. Tom Brady announced his retirement in an Instagram post on Feb. 1.
Tom Brady hasn't announced his retirement, but we're going to adopt the "next man up" mentality and dig into who will succeed one of the NFL's most decorated players.
Saturday it was announced that the 44-year-old G.O.A.T. could soon be saying farewell to the NFL, however, Brady told the Tampa Bay Buccaneers he hasn’t made up his mind, two people familiar with the details told The Associated Press.
Without Brady, the 2021 Bucs' active quarterback lineup consists of 11-year veteran Blaine Gabbert and former Florida quarterback, Kyle Trask who was a rookie this season and the only quarterback under contract through 2022.
Gabbert served as Brady's backup in the Bucs Super Bowl season, appearing in four games and completing 9 of 16 passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns. In 2011, Gabbert was chosen 10th overall in the NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Bucs picked Trask 64th overall in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft as a potential heir to Tom Brady. Trask finished his college career as a Heisman Trophy finalist leading one of Florida's most explosive offenses in the 2020 season with 4,283 yards and 43 touchdowns. But will that be enough to carry the Bucs?
The organization could look outside its roster for the next quarterback.
The Bucs might look toward college standouts like Ole Miss' Matt Corral and Pittsburgh's Kenny Pickett, but they'll need to trade up in order to get a lower pick in the 2022 NFL Draft if they're seeking another rookie quarterback.
Maybe the next offensive leader is somewhere around the league already.
The Bucs could be eying a slew of quarterbacks including Deshaun Watson, Marcus Mariota, Teddy Bridgewater, and hey, maybe even bring Jameis Winston back? Let's not get our hopes up but Aaron Rodgers' name has even entered the chat for who's next in line at the Bucs' camp.
Only time will tell. Brady still hasn't even announced his retirement.