The GOAT Hangs It Up: How Tom Brady’s Retirement Changes Bucs Futures

Written By Brett Gibbons on February 1, 2022
Buccaneers futures

It may have been anticlimactic, but the Greatest Of All Time decided to hang the cleats up. Tom Brady’s retirement brings major changes to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers futures this offseason. What can we expect to see as the offseason progresses?

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Futures

DraftKings Sportsbook released opening lines for Super Bowl LVII — ending the 2022-23 NFL season — in late January. The top of the odds board featured plenty of familiar faces like the Chiefs, Bills, and Packers.

When the futures were released, ESPN’s Adam Schefter had not yet broken the early news that Brady would be retiring. Tampa Bay opened at +1000 (10-to-1) to win the 2023 Super Bowl.

Fast forward to when Brady officially announced his retirement, and the line hadn’t moved much. As of Tuesday morning, the Buccaneers were 12-to-1.

The 2023 Super Bowl market is the only futures market available this early, so it’s tough to see what the market thinks Brady is worth exactly, in terms of wins. Ahead of this past season, the defending champion Bucs were pegged for the second-most wins, narrowly behind the Chiefs. Unless they make a drastic move for another transformative quarterback, their win total for 2022 will certainly be lower. That’s especially true after they fell short in the playoffs even with Brady.

Buccaneers Offseason Changes

There was never certainty that Tom Brady would return for next season, even though he had one more season on his contract.

Now, they’re likely in the market for a mercenary starter. Unless the team sees Kyle Trask as the future of the franchise and an immediate fix, the Bucs are going to have to address their signal caller soon. Enough talent still exists to contend for the crown of a weak division.

Who’s Next At Quarterback?

Unlike recent years, no big free agent QBs headline the offseason cycle. The list is topped by names like Teddy BridgewaterAndy Dalton, and Cam Newton. None of these players are enough to plug in and expect Tampa Bay to resume being top contenders.

The market for unhappy star QBs looks more enticing.

Some stars have hinted at wanting to be traded – namely Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson. Could either find themselves in Tampa Bay next season? It’s too early to say, but Rodgers said he wanted to make decisions about his future fairly soon, while Seattle seems to expect they’ll run it back next season.

That leaves the NFL Draft as a final option. This year’s is notably light on star quarterbacks. To draft a name like Kenny Pickett, the Bucs would need to trade up (they currently have the 27th pick). Other QBs like Malik Willis (Liberty), Matt Corral (Ole Miss), and Desmond Ridder (Cincinnati) may be available at that spot, but they have injury or performance question marks that make it tough to project an immediate impact.

The Domino Effect

Tom Brady was a gravitational player — like LeBron James and other NBA stars, Brady brings players to his team. In Tampa Bay, he recruited Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Brown, both of whom were major players in their Super Bowl LV victory.

The opposite also holds true: Brady’s retirement could lead to a mass exodus. Gronkowski has been rumored to be the next to hang it up (again), since he’s said in the past that Brady is the only quarterback with whom he wants to play. Contracts are up for centerpieces like Chris Godwin and Leonard Fournette.

Other aging veterans who are due for free agency could decide that a rebuild isn’t for them. Jason Pierre-Paul (33), Ryan Jensen (31), and Ndamukong Suh (35) all may opt to ring hunt elsewhere on short contracts.

Where Buccaneers Futures Go From Here

Despite Tom Brady’s retirement being one of the most league-changing announcements this offseason, don’t expect their futures to go into free fall tomorrow. However, keep an eye on these numbers as they move throughout the coming weeks and months.

Brett Gibbons Avatar
Written by
Brett Gibbons

Brett is an avid sports traveler and former Division-I football recruiter for Bowling Green and Texas State. He’s a graduate of BGSU and works as an auditor for Google content curation products. He’s also contributed to Sports Illustrated and Fansided during his young writing career.

View all posts by Brett Gibbons