For almost a decade now (if you can believe that), Jimmy Garoppolo and Tom Brady have been associated with one another. After going separate ways, will Brady’s replacement end up being Jimmy G anyway thanks to the Buccaneers?
As the story goes, Jimmy Garoppolo was Bill Belichick’s hand-picked successor for Tom Brady with the New England Patriots. Brady felt he had more left in the tank (he was right) and the Patriots eventually shipped Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers. Fast forward a few years, and Garoppolo may end up following in Brady’s footsteps, after all, only this time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Buccaneers now face an offseason of uncertainty, including with Brady. There are conflicting reports on the status of the GOAT’s career, but it’s looking like it’s no longer a matter of “if” but “when” Brady hangs up the spikes.
After putting all their chips on the table to bring back all 22 starters and some change in their quest to “go for two” as Super Bowl champions, Jason Licht, Bruce Arians, and the rest of the Bucs organization now find that the chickens are starting to come home to roost. After being knocked out in the divisional round by the Los Angeles Rams, an offseason that is expected to be a roller coaster of emotions is set to begin.
With the 49ers losing in the NFC Championship, it gives the team reason to try and trade Garappolo, in favor of Trey Lance. This might seem disgusting to some, but the Buccaneers should be on the phone about this. Yes, Garoppolo is limited. However, the guy is also a winner. So far in San Francisco, Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers are 35-16 including playoffs when he is starting quarterback. When they have literally anyone else starting quarterback, Shanahan and the 49ers are 8-28 the general consensus is that Garoppolo is holding Shanahan’s offense back, but with a record disparity like that, are we positive it is not the other way around? It’s something to think about. To be rather blunt, Garappolo is a winner, and some people need to just get over it.
Granted, Garoppolo has been thriving in the 49ers run-first system, and that is not exactly the cup of tea of Arians. However, he is no spring chicken himself, so who’s to say that when he inevitably moves on, the Bucs, and potentially Garoppolo, don’t switch to this kind of offensive approach as well? If the Buccaneers were to bring in Jimmy GQ, it would basically be a stop-gap role for when the team is ready to roll with Kyle Trask if they feel he’s ready, or try and draft one in what is supposed to be a strong quarterback draft class in 2023.
Of course, there are more “glamourous” options that are reportedly out there like Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, even Deshaun Watson, and of course a potential Jameis Winston reunion for the diehards out there. However, given the Bucs’ current situation, they aren’t exactly in an ideal spot to make that happen.
At the end of the day, this is also a bit of a long shot. It may not be an ideal scenario, but as a stop-gap option at quarterback, there are far from worse options. However, for the sake of pure chaos, Jimmy Garappolo succeeding Tom Brady as a starting quarterback anyway after all the ballyhoo would be absolutely delicious. #ThisLeague indeed.