With Tom Brady retiring it’s no secret the Bucs will need a new quarterback. But how does that factor into how the national media views the team? Sure, there is still a strong nucleus of talent in Tampa Bay. But this is a quarterback-driven league. And that’s where the Bucs find themselves in a bit of a pickle. Not to mention a plethora of free agents to re-sign this offseason.

Still the team should be able to move around plenty of cap room to re-sign the free agents they want to. All while letting the market dictate the future of players they’d like to have back. That still leaves the quarterback situation. What Tampa Bay does here will dictate their true level of competitiveness next season.

Do they trade for a star quarterback like Russell Wilson or Deshaun Watson? Do they settle for the next rung of guys like Kirk Cousins or Derek Carr? Of course, it takes two to tango in a trade. How much draft capital are the Bucs willing to spend to acquire a top quarterback? They could go the free agent route in reuniting with Jameis Winston or Ryan Fitzpatrick, or target veteran Teddy Bridgewater. Then there’s also the possibility of Blaine Gabbert and Kyle Trask manning the ship. These decisions will truly determine whether the Bucs are contenders or not and why it makes them difficult to rank.

The Power Rankings

Before we look ahead, let’s look back at the 2021 season.

Lindsay Jones of the Athletic, ranked the Bucs seventh in her final power rankings of the year. Personally, I think that is far too low for a team that tied for the best record in the league. And was a bad defensive call away from potentially having overtime decide the NFC Championship game.

As Jones’ mentions, the goal most certainly was to win another Super Bowl. But back-to-back championships was always going to be a challenge. It hasn’t been done since 2004! To rank the Bucs behind a team like the 49ers is a travesty. Especially considering all Tampa Bay’s injuries.

Bucs WR Chris Godwin

Bucs WR Chris Godwin – Photo by: USA Today

Looking at power rankings for the 2022 season, it’s easy to see where the media will question Tampa Bay. NFL.com released their early 2022 power rankings on Tuesday, and for the Bucs it wasn’t the greatest of landing spots. Coming in at 19 overall puts them in the lower half of the middle tier, and just outside of the playoffs in this projection.

And look, I get it. The Bucs need a quarterback. There’s no getting around it. But there should be faith that with stout defensive play and even a game manager behind center, Tampa Bay could still be in a favorable position to in the division.

It’s only February. The combine hasn’t started, free agency is a month away, and the draft is months from now. The Bucs will make moves. As long as the core of this roster is together, the front office and coaching staff don’t appear interested in a rebuild year.

Instead I expect them to be aggressive when looking for the next QB of the Bucs. All while retaining as many free agents as possible. Remember, Bruce Arians said they were retooling, not rebuilding. My money’s on the Bucs finding a guy that can lead the offense at least into the Wild Card round and potentially beyond. A ranking of 19th overall is a little too low for me.

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About the Author: J.C. Allen

J.C. Allen is one of PewterReport.com’s newest beat writers. As a New England transplant, he has closely followed Tom Brady’s entire career and first fell in love with the game during the Patriots 1996 Super Bowl run. J.C. is in his second year covering the team after spending a year with Bucs Report as a writer, producer and show host. Some of his other interests include barbecuing, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends. His favorite Buccaneer of all time is Simeon Rice and believes he deserves a spot in Canton. Follow J.C. Allen on Twitter @JCAllenNFL.
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bucballer
bucballer
4 months ago

Just need a QB who can distribute the ball to his play makers and not turn the ball over with mental errors. Also, need to quit comparing anybody we get to play QB to Brady! Brady is the GOAT! Not fair and nearly impossible to recreate what Brady did. Make the decision at QB, whenever that may be, and let’s support and get behind the guy. I think many of us Buc fans r going to be a little surprised by the solid play of Trask if given the opportunity. Kid is a leader, works hard, and will produce if… Read more »

drdneast
drdneast
4 months ago

All I keep hearing from everyone is that the Bucs need a QB. I can only assume from all this talk is that the Kyle Trask pick was a waste, just like I said when it was made and just like so many of Jason Licht’s picks are.

fredster
fredster
Reply to  drdneast
4 months ago

It remains to be seen if Trask is going to pan out. I didn’t like the Trask pick if we were all in last year to win the Super Bowl again, but To say Licht has done such a poor job and many picks are wasted is stupid imo. He’s had more hits than duds and he’s done great job with free agents.

gcolerick
gcolerick
Reply to  drdneast
4 months ago

Jesus Christ…talk about what have you done for me lately. All Jason Licht did was bring home the Lombardi last year and was maybe one bad call from bringing home another this year. Dude…wake the hell up and get a grip!

fredster
fredster
4 months ago

Bridgewater and Cousins are not great QB’s. Neither will win a Super Bowl. They are both a waste of time. I would think Gabbert would be better. If they can’t land Wilson or another free Agent that’s better than average I’d build the team this year and see what Gabbert can do. Probably not much but beats giving away a lot probably to get a mediocre QB. Carr is mediocre to me as well.

Captain Sly
Captain Sly
4 months ago

#19 Power Ranking! No way on earth are there 18 teams better than the Bucs even if I were the quarterback to start the season. Bucs may have lost Brady but they haven’t forgotten how to play football. Geesh

scubog
scubog
4 months ago

I couldn’t care less about any media person’s rankings when they know so little about the teams they are supposedly evaluating. I realize the common thought is that the 2021 and 2022 rosters were Tom Brady and a collection of “turds”. We know that’s just not the case here. It might now actually be the reverse……. a talented roster with a questionable QB situation. Maybe even talented enough to overcome someone like Trent Dilfer, Shawn King or Brad Johnson behind center. Well, Trent Dilfer did go to the Pro-Bowl in 1997, but I don’t think anyone is even considering him… Read more »