3 Big Changes Bucs Must Make in 2023 Offseason After Playoff Loss

Joe TanseyJanuary 18, 2023

3 Big Changes Bucs Must Make in 2023 Offseason After Playoff Loss

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    TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 16: Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throws a pass during the first quarter of an NFL wild card playoff football game against the Dallas Cowboys at Raymond James Stadium on January 16, 2023 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)
    Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a giant Tom Brady-sized decision to make in the NFL offseason.

    The worst part for the Bucs, though, is their offseason planning could be contingent on the decision made by the legendary quarterback whether to stay or go.

    The 45-year-old will ultimately decide his own future, but the Bucs can have a say in the matter.

    The team is coming off a NFC South title, but it looked nothing like a divisional champion in some parts of the season with Brady at the helm.

    Tampa Bay needs to make a ton of changes on offense to suit its quarterback in 2023, but the franchise may be better off ending the Brady era and moving on to a new chapter.

Cut Ties with Tom Brady

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    TAMPA, FLORIDA - JANUARY 16: Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks on after a fumble against the Dallas Cowboys during the third quarter in the NFC Wild Card playoff game at Raymond James Stadium on January 16, 2023 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
    Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

    The most complicated decision of the Bucs' offseason comes at quarterback.

    Tom Brady is still Tom Brady. He is capable of producing magical moments, but those were few and far between in 2022.

    Most of the memories from this season featured an aging Brady struggling in the pocket, and that was on display again on Monday night in the 31-14 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in the Wild Card Round.

    Tampa Bay needs to move on from Brady at some point. The Bucs can't rely on the quarterback being another year older and guiding them to the Super Bowl.

    The offseason feels like the perfect time for the two sides to part ways. The Bucs had a disastrous postseason exit and an underwhelming campaign as a whole.

    A new signal-caller would be ideal so that the franchise can get the best out of Mike Evans and its talented skill players on offense before they age out of their primes.

    Splitting with Brady is the first step to an offseason overhaul, but where the next quarterback comes from is a major question.

Acquire Jimmy Garoppolo

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    SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 04: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers warms up during pregame against the Miami Dolphins at Levi's Stadium on December 04, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Tampa Bay is in a spot where acquiring a veteran quarterback is the best possible addition.

    Jimmy Garoppolo is the easy target here because he has been rumored to be on the trade market for almost a year. He will be coming back from injury and his price on the open market is as low as it has ever been.

    Signing the 31-year-old as a free agent may be the best possible move to replace Brady because of the other veteran quarterbacks who could be available.

    Garoppolo is a proven winner and has been to the Super Bowl, and he has the potential to play well with Evans and Co. at full strength.

    Tampa Bay is in no position to draft one of the best QB prospects. Developing a young signal-caller may be something the Bucs staff does not want to do because the team is still in a position to contend for a championship.

    Geno Smith may be willing to stay in Seattle and other free agents do not have Garoppolo's track record.

    Signing the Eastern Illinois product could be viewed as a risk, but he's probably the best option to replace Brady and contend for a title in 2023.

Overhaul Offensive Depth

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    TAMPA, FLORIDA - JANUARY 16: Julio Jones #6 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers catches a touchdown pass against the Dallas Cowboys during the third quarter in the NFC Wild Card playoff game at Raymond James Stadium on January 16, 2023 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Tampa Bay's depth acquisitions either through the NFL draft or free agency should be graded as average at best.

    Julio Jones had minimal impact, while Kyle Rudolph did not do much as a backup tight end. Giovani Bernard meant more to special teams, and Scotty Miller and Breshad Perriman did not provide much depth.

    All five are scheduled to become free agents, but none of them should be re-signed.

    Mike Evans and Chris Godwin provide a terrific foundation for the Bucs, but there are questions about Leonard Fournette's effectiveness after he split time with Rachaad White this season.

    Tampa Bay needs to replicate what Kansas City and Buffalo have built by having an abundance of offensive options available for the quarterback.

    The Bucs need more offensive depth and should spend the offseason exploring the best possible options at each position so that they can get back to an over .500 record and look competent in the postseason.

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