You can debate the Kyle Trask pick all you want, but at the end of the day there’s one question that stands out: Was it the right year for the Bucs to draft a quarterback?
Sure, any year seems like it’s the right year when your starting signal caller turns 44-years-old at the start of the season. The fact that it’s Tom Brady takes a lot of the pressure off that particular point, but still. At this point, it’s always wise to have one eye looking toward the future.
The Bucs really like Trask. If you watch his tape, you can see why. He has what the Bucs look for in a quarterback. There’s little doubt they’re going to give him his shot. Unless something major changes, of course.
Let’s say Trask becomes that guy. He develops into a starting-caliber quarterback in the NFL. The Bucs know that once Brady retires, it’ll be an easy transition to Trask. And let’s say Brady retires after the 2022 season.
That means Trask is the starter as he enters the third year of his career. One advantage with today’s NFL contracts is the rookie quarterback contract. If your guy hits the ground running as a rookie, then you can use the money you’d otherwise spend on an Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, etc. to build a successful team around the rook.
Tampa Bay knows all about taking advantage of rookie contracts. How do you think they were able to build the team that lured in Brady? Jameis Winston’s contract -as well as a pay-as-you-go approach- had a lot to do with the make-up of Tampa Bay’s current roster.
The Bucs won’t be able to take full advantage of Trask’s window if everything plays out the way it’s supposed to. He would require a new contract after two years as a starter – and we all know how much quality starting quarterbacks get paid.
That’s not ideal for the Bucs, especially considering all the money they’ve pushed back to later years. Don’t get me wrong; Tampa Bay can improve its cap situation in the coming years. This is not some kind of cry for help or warning. But the Bucs’ current cap situation is not trending in an ideal direction for 2023 and beyond. Right now, the Bucs are in the third-worst position when it comes to the amount of rostered players and cap space in 2023.
Tying up money to keep Trask around plus entering the bloated phase of veteran deals is a bad mix. One that could result in cap casualties, trades, etc.. The irony of potentially having to let others go to keep Trask around in this hypothetical situation is not lost, either.
If it is indeed lost, I’ll help out: One of the knocks on Trask coming into the draft is he has to have good players around him to succeed.
See what I mean?
And just to add another layer: What if Tom Brady plays in 2023? The window then becomes even smaller.
As mentioned earlier, the Trask pick is fine. It makes sense. But at the same time, maybe the Bucs should’ve waited one more year before drafting a quarterback.
Was it the right year for the Bucs to draft a quarterback? What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below!