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Tampa Bay Buccaneers expected to pursue veteran QB: 4 discount options in NFL free agency

While Tampa Bay Buccaneers has a great deal of confidence in second-year quarterback Kyle Trask heading into the 2023 NFL season, the organization’s general manager confirmed they will be on the hunt for a veteran backup in NFL free agency.

One of the biggest NFL stories this month was the surprising but not completely unexpected news that future Hall-of-Famer Tom Brady was bringing his legendary career to a close. His retirement left a massive void on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ depth chart that will likely take years to fill.

However, a report last week suggested the team had high hopes for a quarterback next year with expectations that 2022 rookie Kyle Trask would be under center in Week 1. On Tuesday at the NFL Combine, general manager Jason Licht spoke to the media and was asked about their QB situation. As expected he spoke glowingly about the player he selected in the second round last year and is “excited” about the “opportunity” Trask will have in the summer.

Also Read: Jaguars reportedly free up $26M in cap space – 3 moves to make in free agency

Yet, he did also note (via TampaBay.com writer Rick Stroud) that they “will be adding some other quarterbacks for sure” during the offseason.

Obviously, the team does not have the money or assets to be in the hunt for the likes of Aaron Rodgers or Derek Carr, however, they could soon free up some cap space to sign an established veteran that would be open to a QB competition or backup role in camp. With that in mind, here are four likely targets for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in NFL free agency.

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Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Mariota

On Tuesday, Marcus Mariota saw his tenure with the Atlanta Falcons come to a sad end after just one season. The second pick overall in the 2015 NFL Draft will never reach his potential but he is a solid QB in the league. After three teams in eight seasons, he is at a point where opportunity is all he can ask for. He would get that as a backup with a team where he would have a strong chance to be called in for relief during the season.

Carson Wentz

On Monday, Carson Wentz also saw his tenure with his team in 2022 ended after just one season. Now, the second pick in the 2016 NFL Draft is without a home for 2023. After failed stops in Philadelphia, Indianapolis, and last season in Washington, Wentz is not getting a starting role given to him next season. However, taking a more team-friendly deal and rolling the dice to see if he could beat Trask in a training camp QB competition might be a savvy risk for the 30-year-old at this point in his career.

Cooper Rush

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Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wanted to attempt a quarterback competition for cheap but with high-upside, taking a flier on Cowboys signal-caller Cooper Rush might make some sense. The 29-year-old was so impressive in relief last season, that there were a few analysts out there that thought keeping him as the starter over Dak Prescott was not a completely terrible idea.

The cost would be very low and there is enough evidence that Rush could be a solid QB in the league if the right pieces are placed around him.

Jacoby Brissett

Jacoby Brissett did not get enough credit for the very admirable job he did as a starter for the Browns last season. He was in a position where his starting opportunity was always going to be halted eventually but he was rock solid all year as Cleveland had a better-than-expected offense for much of 2022.

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Brissett has served as a backup in the league previously, and would easily slot into that role behind Trask, but be an excellent replacement if the young QB faltered as the starter.

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