TAMPA — Buccaneer's general manager Jason Licht said it wasn't a total shock when Tom Brady called him Monday night to confirm that he was retiring. He also said there's no way to pull off an encore performance immediately after saying goodbye to the greatest quarterback in NFL history.
"You’re not going to find another Tom Brady," Licht said via Zoom. "But you can find a good player, and you can develop good players."
Licht said the team has been planning for this scenario, but he also said Brady's presence will still be ingrained in the Bucs locker room.
"Everyone will step up. And they’ve learned throughout the last couple of years how to do that," added Licht, who is in Mobile, AL ahead of this weekend's Senior Bowl college all-star game. "I think the experience they’ve had the last couple years playing with Tom Brady is- are lessons that are invaluable."
Tampa Bay finds itself in the same position it was in prior to the 2020 season. They're looking for a franchise quarterback.
"We were in this situation a couple years ago, where [head coach Bruce Arians] and I both said 'We’ll have to look behind door number two.' We’re at that position again." Licht added that he's impressed with rookie second-round pick Kyle Trask, but he's not rushing to name Brady's successor quite yet.
"Whether that’s someone in-house, whether that’s- there’s the draft. There are trades There’s free agency. We’re going to explore all avenues to try to make the best decision that we can for the organization."
Trask, 23, joins 32-year-old Blaine Gabbert as the only quarterback listed on the team's roster. Gabbert is set to become a free agent. The free agent and trading period begin March 16th.