There is growing speculation around the league that Jimmy Garoppolo may end up succeeding Tom Brady after all thanks to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
For almost a decade now (if you can believe that), Jimmy Garoppolo and Tom Brady have been associated with one another. As the story goes, Garoppolo was Bill Belichick’s hand-picked successor for 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.
With Brady’s retirement now officially official, the Buccaneers all of a sudden find themselves in the quarterback market. They did invest a second-round pick in Kyle Trask a year ago, but a stop-gap option will most likely be in play until they feel he is ready.
The bridge option appears to be Jimmy G.
While the quarterback market is set to reportedly be rich with future Hall of Fame veterans, along with bright young talent, but given the Bucs’ current situation with the salary cap and other impending free agents, they aren’t exactly in an ideal spot to make those options happen.
One current personnel director tells FanSided the expectation inside the league is the Buccaneers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Denver Broncos are expected to make a strong push to trade for Garoppolo. It may not be an ideal scenario, but as a stop-gap option at quarterback, there are far from worse options.
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.
As far as price goes, an AFC personnel director of a team not in the quarterback market tells FanSided on the condition of anonymity to speak freely about another team that “I’d think the Niners could realistically get a second-round pick plus at least a player, but I do think his market could expand once teams get one look at this year’s quarterback class. He’s probably better than anyone from this class or 2023. If they’re trying to get a first-rounder, good luck, they aren’t getting close to that for a bridge quarterback, which is what he is.”
Of course, like many Bucs fans, there are some less then convinced.
”He’s got a good win-loss record, but he’s not dynamic,” a former general manager tells FanSided. “He’s Matt Hasselbeck. He’s going to be smart, he’s going to do the right stuff, but he’s just not a really talented arm or good athlete and he’s not going to make some plays.”
One former general manager suggests San Francisco may need to settle for far less, because every other team understands not only Garoppolo’s limitations but that the 49ers have sights set on turning the reins over to Lance.
“Teams aren’t going to be thinking ‘Hey, I have to go get this guy,’” the GM explains. “The 49ers, and John Lynch are going to look around and say ‘hey, we’ve got no leverage, let’s go,’ so I think there’s a chance they’ll have to settle on a No. 3 or No. 4 [pick], unless they somehow drum up a bidding war and get several teams in on the action.”
In a nutshell, this is the most realistic scenario for the Buccaneers. Given where they are at financially, they could use what cap space they have to bring back their talented impending free agents, and trade for Jimmy GQ on the cheap and put themselves in the best position to “win now” without also mortgaging too much of their future.
Granted, this may not be the most glamorous turn of events (on the field not looks wise) but it’s the scenario that makes the most sense, and appears to be the most likely. Bucs fans might want to start preparing for this now. They have been spoiled with Brady, now it’s time to get back to reality.