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Gold Diggers: Are the Buccaneers a legit trade partner for Jimmy Garoppolo?

Tom Brady

Whether the Buccaneers want to admit it or not, something strange is happening in Tampa Bay. Tom Brady has been in and out of training camp, and there’s no definite date for his return. On today’s Gold Diggers podcast, Michelle Magdziuk and I discussed whether the Bucs would trade for Jimmy Garoppolo if Tom Brady suddenly walked away.

Before you try and dismiss the idea out of hand, let’s just look at a factual timeline:

August 2, 2022: Miami Dolphins get punished for tampering violations involving Tom Brady

August 3: Tom Brady absent from training camp (also his birthday)

August 4 and 5: Brady absent from training camp for personal reasons

August 6-10: Brady practices with the team four times

August 11: Bucs announce Brady will be away from the team until after their preseason game on August 20

August 18: Todd Bowles says, “there’s no definitive date” for Tom Brady to return to the team

I’ll be the first to admit that if none of the stuff with the Dolphins had ever happened, I never would have thought to go down this road.

But it did.

We already know that Brady didn’t want to play for the Buccaneers this year. He literally retired. He was doing everything in his power, including participating in tampering violations, to get to the Miami Dolphins and be coached by Sean Payton. That isn’t speculation or conjecture. It’s a fact that has been stated by the NFL.

Now he’s taking time away from training camp in an extended fashion for the first time in his legendary career. Is it so crazy to think that he might not want to play football in Tampa anymore?

That brings us to the matter at hand. Are the Buccaneers a fit for Jimmy Garoppolo? When Bruce Arians were the head coach there, I would have said no. Arians is known for loving deep passes down the field at all costs. “No risk it, no biscuit,” as he always says. We all know that doesn’t fit Jimmy Garoppolo’s style. Now that Arians is no longer the head coach there, however, the Bucs are more likely to modify their offense - particularly without Rob Gronkowski due to retirement and Chris Godwin after ACL surgery.

Unlike other potential Garoppolo fits like Cleveland and Seattle, the Bucs don’t have the luxury of simply writing off 2022 as a rebuilding year. They’re all in. It’s one thing for the Browns and Seahawks to decide that Garoppolo isn’t worth the price. Deshaun Watson is gone for 11 games, and Seattle’s roster is in the midst of an overhaul. The Bucs are at a different point in their competitive life cycle. Their chips are already in the middle of the table, so to speak.

No one has given a definitive explanation for Brady’s absences this year. Fortunately, there were reports that they were not due to health issues within the Brady family. Tom told Howard Stern in 2020 that his wife, Gisele Bundchen, has expressed dissatisfaction with his work/life balance. If the hiatus is related to that, good for Tom Brady to walk away to work on his marriage. There have also been other unsubstantiated rumors that Brady is a contestant on Fox’s The Masked Singer. If that were the case, however, wouldn’t the Buccaneers know when he was coming back?

Until we see otherwise, there’s certainly enough reason to believe that Tom Brady might not be back with the Buccaneers this season. If that’s the case, they absolutely need a better quarterback than Kyle Trask or Blaine Gabbert if they want to compete for a Super Bowl. The 49ers are one of the few teams in a position to be able to provide that at this point in the calendar. While one Bucs coach might not love the idea, a coach is not the GM, and the situation may be a lot different than it was on July 8.

As unbelievable as it would be to see Jimmy Garoppolo succeed Tom Brady for a second time, we can’t rule it out just yet.

Other topics in today’s show

  • Why the Bucs need Jimmy Garoppolo (5:26)
  • How the 49ers could stick it to Jimmy G. if they wanted to (11:14)
  • Michelle’s 49ers trivia questions (13:51)
  • Fred Warner pisses off the Vikings (21:09)
  • How serious is Jimmie Ward’s injury (25:52)
  • Michelle’s home made over/unders
  • Trey Lance over 4,000 pass yards (32:09)
  • Deebo Samuel over 1,200 receiving yards (34:31)
  • Brandon Aiyuk over 1,000 receiving yards (35:40)
  • Elijah Mitchell over 1,200 yards from scrimmage (36:41)
  • Nick Bosa over 16 sacks (37:53)
  • Who has the second most sacks this year? (39:06)