TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The NFL quarterback wheel was turning Tuesday afternoon and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were not part of the party.
The Bucs, who are trying to solidify their quarterback position as free agency approaches, missed out on two veteran players that were always going to be difficult acquisitions for Bucs general manager Jason Licht.
First, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers announced his intentions to return to the Packers next season and work on a long-term extension to remain in Green Bay.
Later in the day, the blockbuster so far in 2022, quarterback Russell Wilson was dealt by the Seattle Seahawks to the Denver Broncos for a steep price.
The Broncos sent three players: quarterback Drew Lock, tight end Noah Fant and defensive lineman Shelby Harris to Seattle in addition to two first-round draft picks, two second-round picks, and a fifth-round selection.
Last week at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Bucs head coach Bruce Arians told News Channel 8 that General Manager Jason Licht has reached out to unnamed teams regarding possible trades.
Tuesday’s news knocks the two biggest names off the list.
Possibilities still exist such as a trade with the Houston Texans for quarterback Deshaun Watson, who takes the next step in his off-field legal issues this Friday.
Watson is staring at a possible suspension by the NFL as well, once he can step back on the field.
The Indianapolis Colts are also considering releasing quarterback Carson Wentz, a move that may sound enticing for Arians but introduces another quarterback to a new offense.
The most logical step for the Bucs may be to fill from within and Arians was supportive of both quarterback Kyle Trask and free-agent quarterback Blaine Gabbert, at the Scouting Combine.
“We drafted Kyle Trask number two for a reason,” Arians said. “Fits everything that we want to do as a quarterback. I really liked what I saw for a year.”
Trask did not dress for any games during the 2021 season but spent his rookie season under the tutelage of future hall of fame quarterback Tom Brady, as well as Gabbert.
The official back-up to Brady, Gabbert was more than a safety net.
He was partly responsible for Brady learning the Bucs offense installed by Arians and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and has a long history with both coaches.
Gabbert would not be the biggest challenge for the Bucs to re-sign during free agency, but he is currently not on the roster.