Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians believes the team will be fine moving forward at quarterback if Tom Brady retires:
Brady's future remains up in the air after the Buccaneers were eliminated from the playoffs with Sunday's 30-27 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Arians said he will be patient with the 44-year-old as the future Hall of Famer determines his next steps.
"I haven't talked to him yet," Arians said of Brady. "But take all the time he needs and we'll see."
Brady, 44, indicated after the latest loss that he doesn't yet know his plans for next season.
"I haven’t put a lot of thought into it," the quarterback said Sunday. "Taking it day by day."
Despite his age, Brady played close to an MVP level this season with 5,316 passing yards and 43 touchdowns, leading the league in both categories. He threw 40 touchdown passes in 2020 before leading the team to a Super Bowl title.
If Brady does step away this offseason, there would likely be a significant drop-off regardless of who takes over under center.
Blaine Gabbert hasn't started a game since 2018 and has thrown just 27 regular-season passes in the last three years. He is mostly known for his struggles with the Jacksonville Jaguars after he was taken in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft. In three years with the Jags, he had 22 touchdowns, 24 interceptions and a 66.4 quarterback rating.
The 32-year-old has seen other opportunities with the San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals and Tennessee Titans, but he still has just a 72.4 career passer rating and his teams are only 13-35 in his starts.
On the other hand, he has spent the past three years in Tampa Bay under Arians after also spending one year with the coach in Arizona. He clearly knows the system and has the trust of the head coach.
Kyle Trask could be the more exciting option after the Buccaneers drafted him in the second round last April. The former Florida star finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting in 2020 after totaling 4,283 passing yards and 43 touchdowns in 12 games.
The 23-year-old didn't see any regular-season action as a rookie, but a year sitting behind Brady could set him up for a successful career if he gets a chance in 2022.