Now that the New Orleans Saints have taken Derek Carr off the board, another NFC South team is rumored to be interested in Jimmy Garoppolo as their Plan B.
The start of NFL Free Agency is right around the corner, but already it appears as though pieces are being set in place and teams are already missing out on potential targets.
One of the top quarterbacks on the market, Derek Carr, has already found a new home. It seems wild to say it out loud, but Carr was the engine driving the entire market and now that he’s parked in the Saints garage, other moves that were based on his decision can now be made.
Aaron Rodgers appears to be the New York Jets fallback plan after missing on Carr, and attention now turns to where Jimmy Garoppolo will land as well.
Not for nothing, but you might have heard that the Buccaneers are in the market for a quarterback.
The rumor mill attached the team to Carr, but turns out they never made a real attempt to get him, though. This is probably because the team is deep in a salary cap pit and needs to shed over $50 million to get back under the league figure.
That took the Bucs out of the Carr chase, but what about Jimmy G?
NFL Rumors: Are Buccaneers interested in Jimmy Garoppolo?
The market for Garoppolo is naturally starting to heat up now that Carr has decided where to go.
According to NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the Texans, Panthers, and Raiders are all “likely” to have interest in Garoppolo once free agency begins next week.
Notice the Buccaneers aren’t on that list.
It’s been a while since Jimmy G has been linked to Tampa Bay, and it seems the needle has slowly been moving in the other direction. What was once a hotly rumored fit for the Bucs has become an afterthought due mostly to that aforementioned salary cap situation.
The Bucs couldn’t afford to get in on Carr, and there were also questions among fans about whether tying the future to him versus other options was the best route to go.
Despite how attractive the notion of adding Carr or Garoppolo — or even Lamar Jackson — is, the best path forward still seems to be giving Kyle Trask the keys to see if he has what it takes to be the guy.
Trask is just two years removed from the Bucs using a Top 65 pick on him in the NFL Draft, and he’s attempted less than ten passes in his career so far. Most of that had to do with the fact that he wasn’t going to get reps over Tom Brady, but now is the time to see if Trask can be the quarterback of the future or if the Bucs will have to search for that guy next offseason, whether through the draft or free agency.
Starting Trask and signing a mid-level veteran to compete with him makes the most sense strategically and financially for the Bucs.
There’s also nothing to prove Garoppolo will be that much better than Trask. He’s being dumped by Kyle Shanahan for a reason, and if he can’t get what he needs out of Jimmy G then that’s a pretty significant red flag, especially one that a first-time coordinator like Dave Canales should look out for.
It could be that the Bucs get in on the Garoppolo market this offseason, but it doesn’t sound like they’re rushing to do so and that might be the smartest approach to have.