How Brady’s Contract Affects Bucs’ Future

    • Tom Brady has officially retired from the NFL after 22 seasons.
    • It affects Tampa both in terms of personnel and financial flexibility.

Tom Brady has officially retired from the NFL after 22 seasons.

The 44-year-old’s announcement Tuesday left a gaping hole at the most important position on the field for a Tampa team that only a few weeks ago looked like it could win back-to-back Super Bowls.

The Bucs’ post-Brady future was always going to be a bit murky — thanks to his uniquely constructed contract, which affects Tampa both in terms of personnel and financial flexibility.

  • Last March, Brady signed a one-year, $25 million contract extension with three voidable years. He would’ve earned $8.9 million in 2022, plus $18.4 million in bonuses.
  • He’ll receive $15 million of his $20 million signing bonus on Friday, but Tampa can recoup $16 million due to his retirement.
  • If the Bucs process the retirement after June 2, they’ll move $12.3 million of salary-cap charges to 2023.
  • With Brady still on the books, the Bucs have around $7.7 million in cap space (19th in NFL) for next season.

With the extra room, Tampa could go big for his replacement. The two other quarterbacks on the roster are veteran Blaine Gabbert, who hasn’t started an NFL game since 2018, and rookie Kyle Trask, who has yet to take an NFL snap.

Some intriguing names to consider via free agency or trade include Aaron Rodgers, Jimmy Garoppolo, Russell Wilson, Derek Carr, Deshaun Watson, or Teddy Bridgewater.

Whoever starts under center next season will follow in the footsteps of a seven-time Super Bowl champion with an incomparable legacy. So, you know, no pressure.