Tom Brady hasn’t formally retired quite yet. However, all signs point toward him announcing his decision to leave the sport at some point in the coming months. It will likely occur in February so that he can collect his roster bonus.
With this in mind, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are likely to be short one starting quarterback this offseason. They could turn things over to last year’s second-round pick Kyle Trask, simultaneously committing to a rebuild/retool. Or, they could take the plunge back into the veteran QB market in an attempt to keep their championship window alive.
If they go with the latter option, current Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers would presumably be atop their wishlist.
Will the Buccaneers make a run at Aaron Rodgers?
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio was the first to mention the possibility of Tampa Bay pursuing Rodgers this offseason. It sounds a little ridiculous at first, going from one all-time great to another. However, Florio makes some compelling points.
If so, could they turn to a trade for Aaron Rodgers?
The Bucs necessarily will be a consideration for Rodgers as he looks for his next team, if/when he decides to leave the Buccaneers. But would Rodgers want to follow Brady? Rodgers definitely would be compared to Brady. If Rodgers didn’t win a Super Bowl his first year in Tampa, the narrative would become (for many) that Brady is better than Rodgers.
Still, it’s incumbent on Rodgers to find a place where the grass is greener than it is in Green Bay. In Denver or Las Vegas (both of which are viable destinations), he’d be competing with Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert. In Pittsburgh (another viable destination), Rodgers would be dealing with Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson, and (for now) Baker Mayfield.Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk
Yes, Rodgers would have to deal with the pressure of living up to Brady. However, the opportunity to join a championship-ready team in Tampa Bay should still pique his interest. Few teams are in better positions (and in need of a QB) than the Buccaneers right now.
Why this move makes sense for the Buccaneers and Aaron Rodgers
For the Bucs, this would be a pretty simple decision. They’d be acquiring one of the best quarterbacks in football, immediately re-opening their championship window.
For Rodgers, the urge to join Tampa Bay is similar to what Brady experienced back in 2020. Tampa Bay has above-average weapons, a strong coaching staff, an excellent offensive line, and incredible weather.
After years of living in frosty Green Bay, that last reason might be particularly important to Rodgers.
Regardless, the NFC South is wide open right now, and the Buccaneers have a strong foundation in place. Joining Tampa Bay would almost guarantee another trip to the postseason for Rodgers.
Why this move doesn’t make sense
The Green Bay front office is the biggest hurdle to a potential Rodgers/Buccaneers marriage. Rodgers is currently under contract with the Packers, meaning a trade needs to be agreed upon. It’s hard to imagine the Packers willingly trading Rodgers to an NFC rival.
Additionally, rumors have kicked up that Rodgers wants Davante Adams to follow him wherever he goes. The Buccaneers currently don’t have the cap space to afford Adams and Rodgers. They can only land one.
Can the Buccaneers acquire Rodgers this season? Yes. Will it happen? Logic suggests no.