The NFL season has officially been over for less than a week, yet Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans already have fatigue when it comes to conversations about what the team is planning to do at quarterback.
It’s the most exciting position in football, and anytime there’s change under center it’s objectively fun to consider the possibilities. But fans haven’t fully recovered from how hard the bottom fell out during Tom Brady’s final season in the NFL and talk about who will be leading the team in 2023 has been going on longer than most folks think.
One name that has been linked to the Bucs going all the way back to last offseason is Jimmy Garoppolo. Brady’s former teammate in New England was attached to Tampa Bay last year when the former made his first retirement announcement.
Now that Brady has retired again — and for good this time — Jimmy G is once again linked to the Bucs as a potential successor.
For a second-straight offseason, though, don’t hold your breath on Garoppolo coming to Tampa Bay.
Is Jimmy Garoppolo in the Buccaneers offseason plans?
According to Rick Stroud from the Tampa Bay Times, the Bucs aren’t going to be able to pursue a top-tier quarterback this offseason and are likely out on Jimmy Garoppolo as well.
“Bucs will explore the free agent quarterback market but their salary cap situation makes it unlikely they will compete for anyone who has a legit top-tier market,” Stroud reported. “Jimmy Garoppolo will likely be out of their price range, especially with his injury history. Expect a lot of names attached to Tampa Bay.”
The Bucs begin the offseason $55M over the salary cap, which means there’s work that must be done before any major moves can be made. Derek Carr was linked to Tampa Bay but his massive salary won’t fit, and neither will whatever the Ravens end up paying Lamar Jackson if they end up in a sign-and-trade situation.
Garoppolo would be a great option if he came cheap, which it doesn’t appear he will. The Bucs have Kyle Trask as a potential quarterback of the future and could be in the market to draft someone like Caleb Williams in 2024. It sounds like Garoppolo wants to be a starter for years to come and not get stuck in the rut he was in San Francisco where he’s just keeping the seat warm for the next guy.
There was a point where it seemed like his market might not be as hot as he thought, but the Jets and Raiders have since entered the chat and changed that. Whether it’s a ploy for either of those teams to not make their desire to trade for Aaron Rodgers too obvious is beside the point because it’s driving Garoppolo’s price out of the range Tampa Bay can afford.