The Tampa Bay Buccaneers reportedly left the door open for Tom Brady to perform a sensational backflip on his decision to retire, but they have two quarterbacks lined up in the crosshairs as a contingency plan.
Brady announced his retirement Feb. 1 after the Bucs were heartbreakingly knocked out of the playoffs by the Los Angeles Rams.
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The 44-year-old led Tampa to a stunning Super Bowl victory over the Kansas City Chiefs last season and has continued to play at an elite level this season.
Although the future Hall of Famer has called it quits, he said on the Let’s Go podcast that he would “never say never” about taking shots again.
But should he decide to do an about-face on his retirement plans, NFL Network reporters Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport say the Bucs would do “whatever it takes” to bring him back to Florida.
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“While Brady’s loved ones consider the odds of this happening to be remote, the Bucs have made it clear to Brady that they will be prepared to do the right thing,” Pelissero and Rapoport said.
However, if Bucs coach Bruce Arians fails to lure Brady out of retirement, then they could turn to Deshaun Watson or Russell Wilson as alternative options.
As it stands, Tampa’s options include back-up veteran Blaine Gabbert, last year’s second-round pick Kyle Trask or dive into the free agency market, which could open a comeback path for the team. former quarterback Jameis Winston.
The other option is to get big in the trade market, where Watson and Wilson come into the picture.
Watson didn’t take a wink last season for the Houston Texans after the 26-year-old requested a trade and was at the center of more than 20 sexual misconduct allegations that are the subject of civil suits, a police investigation and an NFL investigation.
The former Clemson product has made it clear he won’t fit the Texans again, as Pelissero and Rapoport say Houston “continues to target a trade before the start of the league year on March 16.”
Seahawks quarterback Wilson said in an interview with SiriusXM last Friday that his “hope and goal is to be back (in Seattle) and keep winning there,” and that his relationship with the coach Pete Carroll is closer than ever.
Both Watson and Wilson have no-trade clauses in their contracts and would have to sign any potential deal if the Bucs make a big play for them.