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Tampa Bay Buccaneers could turn to Baker Mayfield or Drew Lock after Tom Brady

Moving on from a Hall of Fame quarterback who many would regard as the all-time GOAT isn’t easy. There is no one-for-one replacement for Tom Brady lurking for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

But obviously, the Bucs have to address the QB position this offseason unless they’re willing to simply hand the keys to Kyle Trask, the 64th pick of the 2021 NFL Draft, without making him compete. Usually, that ends badly for unproven players who have attempted just nine career passes in the pros.

Since the Buccaneers don’t have a selection in the 2023 NFL Draft until the 19th pick, trying to buy low on a free agent QB may be best for a team already limited in cap space.

In turn, Tampa Bay’s best alternative to bringing in more competition for Trask may be trying to take a chance on another QB who has yet to reach their ceiling in the pros. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, there are two veterans who could emerge as top options in free agency for the Bucs.

Fowler named both former second-round pick Drew Lock and former No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield as low-cost, prove-it solutions for the Buccaneers this offseason. Despite Mayfield’s late resurgence with the Rams, both signal-callers are likely looking at a backup role next year, needing to prove they belong as starters. For Mayfield, he may like the idea of overtaking Trask for the lead role.

Trask is already 25 years old, Mayfield is set to turn 28 yet has shown the ability to be a capable starter in the past, and Lock is set to turn 27 next season but hasn’t been able to get another opportunity after backing up Geno Smith last year in Seattle. It’s a bit of an underwhelming group, especially compared to TB12, but the Buccaneers may not have much of a choice but to pick off the bottom of the scrap heap, thanks to being $57 million over the 2023 spending limit.

Related: Bold predictions for 2023 NFL free agency: Destinations for more than 50 top players

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