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Is quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo the top target for the Buccaneers?

Finances may get in the way of this acquisition

Miami Dolphins v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

The Buccaneers find themselves in yet another offseason wondering who their starting quarterback may be this upcoming season. Some of that could be tied to their offensive coordinator vacancy they are currently interviewing candidates for. If so, the range of quarterback possibilities for 2023 could be a long one. But they may have some financial constraints limiting their ability to bring in a top name veteran quarterback.

The Bucs have been tied to names like Derek Carr (who is expected to be released by the Raiders by Tuesday’s deadline), Baker Mayfield, and even Aaron Rodgers depending on who is providing the report. However, since last year during Tom Brady’s initial retirement period there was another name the Buccaneers were linked to and are now linked to him once again.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

The soon-to-be free agent veteran quarterback is said to be on Tampa Bay’s radar. When speaking on NFL Network about the Buccaneers eating up Tom Brady’s post-retirement salary for this season, reporter Mike Garafolo talked about the Bucs interest in the 31-year-old signal caller but how it may be difficult to sign him.

“They knew they were going to have to pay these debts at some point,” Garafolo said referring to the money Brady is owed. “They will be in the veteran quarterback market. Jimmy Garoppolo is one of the players that they like, but they just may not have the finances to get it done.”

Tampa Bay will have to do some maneuvering with their salary cap to make sure they are in compliance with this year’s cap. The $35-million in dead money the Bucs are left with from Brady’s contract pushes Tampa Bay north of $50-million over the salary cap. Fortunately, general manager Jason Licht and his staff have always gotten creative with the cap and have been able to make things work so it’ll be interesting to see how they can move money around to be in compliance once again.

Regardless, bringing in a veteran quarterback like a Garoppolo or Carr will cost a good chunk of change. If they want to retain some of their own free agents — or try to, Tampa Bay will just have to name quarterback Kyle Trask the starter for 2023.