In the absence of a free-agent splurge (unlikely given their current cap deficit) or a trade of blockbuster proportion, the Bucs will enter the 2023 season with Kyle Trask as their starting quarterback. Faced with the impossible task of replacing Tom Brady (talk about a tough act to follow), Trask has spent the bulk of his early career as a spectator, logging all of 10 regular-season snaps since arriving as a second-round pick in 2021. Despite this, the Bucs remain confident in Trask, touting him as a star in the making with GM Jason Licht and senior consultant Bruce Arians both giving the former Heisman finalist their seal of approval.
“[Licht] believes Kyle Trask has what it takes to be a winner in this league and he looks around the division and says, ‘We got the best quarterback in the division,’” ESPN’s Jeff Darlington reported during a recent appearance on NFL Live. “He at least thinks they can be competitive with Kyle Trask.”
While many would accuse Licht of hyperbole, doing his best to put a positive spin on a bad situation, the title for best quarterback in the division is, admittedly, a low bar to clear, especially when the other available options are Desmond Ridder, Jameis Winston and (checks notes) Matt Corral. Far removed from the glory days of Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Cam Newton, the NFC South finds itself in a rebuilding period of sorts, with no team finishing over .500 last year. Reeling from a mass exodus of talent, particularly at the quarterback position, Trask may very well be the cream of the NFC South crop, the de facto best of an underwhelming bunch in a division that has seen better days.
What Trask lacks in athleticism (his 5.13 forty clocked in the sixth percentile of quarterbacks tested), he more than makes up for in size, boasting a sturdy, 6’5,” 236-pound frame. Ironically enough, Trask's closest NFL comp coming out of Florida was former Bucs quarterback Brad Johnson, a no-frills game manager who, as his Super Bowl ring would attest, rose to the occasion when needed.