Buccaneers Plan To Add Veteran QB, Give Kyle Trask Shot At Starting Job

Losing this century’s defining NFL player to retirement, the Buccaneers will look quite different in 2023. The team will give the former second-round pick groomed during Tom Brady‘s final years a shot.

During the OC interview process, the Bucs told candidates they planned to give Kyle Trask a legitimate opportunity to win the job, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times notes. Trask has played in one game over two seasons, but with Brady retired and Blaine Gabbert a free agent, a path exists to an unlikely ascent.

That said, Stroud adds the Bucs will pursue a veteran passer or two. But their salary cap situation — an issue largely present because of the $35.1MM void-years tab Brady’s restructure created — will obviously influence the team’s decision. The Bucs told coordinator candidates their cap situation will shape their quarterback search.

Tampa Bay chose Trask 64th overall in 2021 and parked him behind Brady and Gabbert for two years. While the ex-Florida Gator passer has scant game tape to judge (in the regular season, that is), he has generated some buzz among teammates. Some among the Bucs believe Trask can make a push for the QB1 job.

The Bucs have been loosely connected to Derek Carr, but they are not in the driver’s seat. They sit a league-most $56.5MM over the cap as of Friday afternoon. Numerous transactions will be required to comply with the 2023 salary ceiling. That would point to the Bucs passing on the likes of Carr or Jimmy Garoppolo. Cheaper options will be available. Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Andy Dalton, Teddy Bridgewater, Jacoby Brissett, Gardner Minshew, Taylor Heinicke, Mike White and Mason Rudolph are among the options that are unlikely to exceed midlevel contracts at the position in free agency.

Trask, 24, has completed 58.8% of his preseason passes. He spent two seasons as Florida’s starter, winding up on the second-round radar thanks to his 2020 finale. Trask threw 43 touchdown passes during a season shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic, helping turn Kyle Pitts into a top-five draftee. The Bucs did not view Trask as having progressed to the point of beating out Gabbert for the backup job during training camp last year, however.

Yeah, so with Kyle, the QB run stuff, QB read stuff won’t be a big feature of what we do,” new Bucs OC Dave Canales said, via Stroud. “But as far as everything else that we do in terms of the play-actions and the keeper game, he’s plenty athletic enough. He’s got short-space quickness. … he’s got plenty of athleticism to run our system.”

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