Buccaneers GM apparently may have a Tom Brady successor in mind, and he’s already on the roster

Tom Brady has one year remaining on his contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a franchise that just won a Super Bowl with the GOAT but will have to start thinking about the future at quarterback. Brady is 43, and things could get complicated for Tampa Bay whenever the future Hall of Famer actually does decide to retire.  

Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht apparently may have a potential Brady successor in mind — a surprising pick, considering that player is already on the roster. It sounds like Brady’s backup, Blaine Gabbert, will get strong consideration for the job.

“First of all, I love his energy,” Licht said of Gabbert on the Pewter Report podcast Thursday. “I’ve really gotten close to Blaine this year just being on the sidelines. He’s a really smart guy but he is one guy, my scouts and I talk about this a lot, he’s just one guy that I love to watch throw every day in practice because he has got a cannon. He’s very accurate with his throws as well and he can just really whistle them in in tight windows. 

“If he had been forced to play, he played in the Detroit game, but if he had been forced to play more I think that he would have really opened a lot of people’s eyes about how talented he is, especially being in the same system for a couple of years.”

When asked if Gabbert is an option to be the Bucs’ starter whenever Brady decides to move on, Licht said, “I’m not going to rule anything out right now.”

Gabbert has been with the Buccaneers since Bruce Arians was hired as head coach in 2019, having two years of experience in the system. Since fizzling with the Jacksonville Jaguars after being selected with the No. 10 overall pick, Gabbert has bounced around the league as a backup quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals, and Tennessee Titans before arriving in Tampa Bay. Gabbert actually spent the 2017 season with Arians in Arizona, starting five games.  

The 31-year-old Gabbert has completed 56.2% of pass attempts thrown in his career for 9,206 yards with 50 touchdowns to 47 interceptions and a 72.3 passer rating (13-35 record as a starter). Gabbert played the majority of the second half in a Week 16 blowout win over the Detroit Lions last season, going 9 of 15 for 143 yards and two touchdowns (131.4 rating). 

For the Buccaneers to keep the core of their championship roster in the long term, they’ll have to consider a contract-friendly option at quarterback. Gabbert may get his shot to keep the job in the first year without Brady — whenever that will be.

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