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Bucs GM Jason Licht: Can't replace Tom Brady, but can find 'a good player'

Yardbarker logo Yardbarker 2/2/2022 Zac Wassink, Yardbarker
Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht knows he has huge shoes to fill regarding replacing Tom Brady. © Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht knows he has huge shoes to fill regarding replacing Tom Brady.

Understandably, much has been made about the retirement of legendary quarterback Tom Brady that was confirmed Tuesday morning and that left the NFL without the seven-time Super Bowl champion for the first time since the sixth round of the 2000 draft. Somewhat lost in the shuffle is the fact the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost their starting signal-caller and currently have Blaine Gabbert atop the depth chart at the sport's most important position for at least another month or so. 

According to Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk, Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht vowed during a Tuesday conference call "to go down every avenue" to fill that noticeable gap on the roster. 

"There’s no replacing (Brady). You’re not going to find another Tom Brady. But you can find a good player, and you can develop good players," Licht explained. "Everyone will step up, and they’ve learned throughout the last couple of years how to do that. I think just the experience they’ve had the last couple of years playing with Tom Brady are lessons that are invaluable. We’re very excited about the future still. We’re excited about the team that we have, and we’ll just continue to march forward." 

Last week, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians told reporters his team would "reload" rather than rebuild coming off the playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams that proved to be Brady's final on-the-field moment as an active NFL player. On Tuesday, Licht described the upcoming process as a "remodel."

Even before Tuesday morning, the Buccaneers were linked in rumors with Green Bay Packers starter Aaron Rodgers and former Brady backup Jimmy Garoppolo of the San Francisco 49ers, among others. 

Video: Kyle Shanahan: I have the ultimate respect for Jimmy Garappolo (NFL)

"We’ll continue to look for the best available option, whether that’s someone here or someone out there," Licht added. 

It's unknown if the Buccaneers would risk pursuing Houston Texans star quarterback Deshaun Watson before his legal issues are resolved or if Russell Wilson would willingly leave the Seattle Seahawks for Florida this winter or spring. 

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