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How Tom Brady's exit could affect Buccaneers' future in NFL

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady

Multiple reports are claiming that Tom Brady is going to retire during the 2022 NFL offseason. It's not yet official, as Brady himself has not announced it, but it appears likely that his legendary 22-year career is finally coming to an end. He spent two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he won one of his seven Super Bowl rings.

Legit question since it happened with Wayne Gretzky in Hockey: If Tom Brady does retire this offseason [or whenever he does], should the Hall of Fame waive the standard 5-year waiting period and allow him to walk in right away?He's the best QB in sports history, had best career https://t.co/WRhBRKX7MM

If Brady retires this offseason, it could have huge implications for the future of the Buccaneers. The most obvious issue that would need to be addressed immediately is the decision of who's going to be their next quarterback. They will need to decide if they will bring in a new quarterback or turn over the position to someone already on the roster.

Blaine Gabbert was the main back-up quarterback for the Buccaneers during the 2021 NFL season, but he is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. It's unlikely he's viewed as anything more than a back-up at this point in his career anyway.

The real option that the Buccaneers have on their current roster is Kyle Trask. They selected him in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft as a potential future replacement for Tom Brady. If they believe he is ready for the opportunity to take over as the starting quarterback, he could potentially be their opening-day starter for the 2022 NFL season.

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If the Buccaneers don't believe Trask is ready to be the starting quarterback in the NFL, they will have to look at either available free agents or the trade market. They still have plenty of solid pieces in place on both sides of the ball to be competitive next season, so it's important for them to figure out their quarterback situation. Tom Brady's retirement could give them extra salary cap flexibility to do so.

Salary cap implications of Tom Brady's retirement for the Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady

Timing is important when dealing with a retirement situation in relation to the NFL salary cap. If Tom Brady officially retires before June 2nd, it would cost the Buccaneers more dead cap money than it would if he were to wait until after. He's still allowed to announce it whenever he wants without penalty to the Buccaneers, but the official booking date of the retirement would need to be later.

Waiting until June 2nd would free up additional free cap space for the Buccaneers. That would roughly open up around $12 million dollars in extra spending money in the 2022 offseason. The Buccaneers are in relatively good shape with their salary cap, projected to have about $15 million dollars available prior to Brady's retirement, but the extra spending money is always a useful asset. That gives the Buccaneers more options when building out their roster.

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Edited by Windy Goodloe
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