A new quarterback has been named as a potential target for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason.
One of the biggest questions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had entering this offseason was who would run the offense. It’s technically a two-part question, as the Bucs needed to replace Byron Leftwich as offensive coordinator in addition to finding a replacement for Tom Brady under center.
Part of that plan was set in place with the hiring of Dave Canales as offensive coordinator. Canales, the former Seattle Seahawks quarterbacks coach, has been installed as the first part of the Bucs offseason plan to re-tool an offense that bottomed out hard last season despite having a still functional Brady under center.
The other part of that plan will be determining who Canales’ quarterback will be. Kyle Trask is the only quarterback under contract for next season, but he’s played only 10 snaps in his entire career and has been active for exactly one game over two years. Trask accounted for eight-tenths of a percent of the Bucs quarterback snaps in 2022, all of which coming in the team’s Wek 18 game against the Atlanta Falcons.
All of that is to say it’s a pretty hard case to make for Trask to just assume the role as starter, despite the upside of such a thing meaning the team would see what he has. The truth of the matter is he might not have much to offer now, and bringing in a veteran to start and serve as a bridge is perhaps the best move.
Some names have already been kicked around; Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett all have been rumored to be connected to Tampa Bay. Even guys like Baker Mayfield and Geno Smith have been mentioned; Justin Fields trade rumors have perked the ears of Bucs fans while Drew Lock has been mentioned as a potential mentor for Trask as he learns Canales’ offense.
Buccaneers Rumors: Is Ryan Tannehill an option for Bucs this offseason?
NFL insider Peter King tossed a new name into the ring and suggested that Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill might be the best fit for the Bucs this offseason.
“Kyle Trask, we know less than zero about right now,” King said on a recent episode of PFT. “So clearly Tampa Bay is going to be in the market for a veteran quarterback, whether that is a quarterback closer to the end than the beginning. Whether that is someone like Ryan Tannehill or whether they decide to get into the Derek Carr stakes.”
This isn’t the first time Tannehill’s name has been tossed into the fire as a potential Bucs target, but it’s the first time someone like King has done it.
It’s not the sexiest option, but it might fall into the category of quarterbacks the Bucs can afford to acquire this offseason. With the team $55 million over the salary cap entering free agency, there’s only so much Tampa Bay can do. Derek Carr will cost too much, Lamar Jackson is out of the question and even guys like Jimmy G and Geno Smith might be out of the Bucs’ price range.
Drew Lock is a much more realistic option for the Bucs, which is both a little depressing but a good compass for fans to use as they recalibrate their expectations.
Tannehill is under contract with the Titans, but that could change quickly. Tennessee can save $17.8M by getting rid of Tannehill before June 1st, and close to $30 million if the move happens after that.
The question is how much better does Tannehill make the Bucs? If the idea is to be competitive this season, Tannehill doesn’t offer that much in terms of wins above replacement. He won’t be the reason the Bucs lose a ton of games but he won’t be the reason he wins many, not like we saw with Brady against the Saints and Rams last year.
Another question to beg is whether Tannehill would sign for a team-friendly price? He wouldn’t be a top option on the market, but he could land somewhere with a competitor as a fallback plan.
It’s an interesting option, but it perhaps highlights just how much expectations need to be adjusted by Bucs fans when it comes to who will be the team’s quarterback when the 2023 season kicks off.