Kyle Pitts backs former college teammate Kyle Trask after news of Tom Brady’s retirement


Tom Brady’s retirement, though not entirely unexpected, leaves the Bucs in a rather precarious position, with just one quarterback on their active roster (two if you include impending free agent Blaine Gabbert). That quarterback is second-round rookie Kyle Trask, a prolific college performer viewed as a “project” by most scouts due to his perceived lack of athleticism (he ran an anemic 5.08 forty at his Florida Pro Day).

With Tampa Bay’s championship window all but closed—Leonard Fournette, Rob Gronkowski and Chris Godwin are all headed for free agency—it’s anyone's guess who the Bucs will tap to start Week 1. While the Bucs could look to upgrade that position through trades or free agency (Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jameis Winston will all be possibilities), Trask stands as the lead (edit: only) in-house option, giving him as good a chance as anyone to replace Brady under center.

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Trask is obviously no slouch, boasting impressive size (6’5”/236) with the arm strength and accuracy needed to play quarterback at the next level. He also earned recognition as a Heisman finalist in 2020, finishing fourth in that year’s voting on the strength of 43 touchdown passes, a school record and the most in college football that season. Still, it’s hard to ignore the drop-off from Brady—an all-time great who never exited his prime—to Trask, a player some have already dismissed as a career backup with little chance of making an NFL impact.

Bruce Arians’ confidence in Trask remains to be seen, though the 23-year-old certainly has the support of his buddy and fellow Florida alum Kyle Pitts, who had this to say following Brady’s retirement.

Chosen with the fourth pick in last year’s NFL Draft (the earliest a tight end has ever been selected), Pitts enjoyed a remarkable debut season in 2021, leading Atlanta in receiving yards while joining long snapper Josh Harris as one of two Falcons Pro Bowl representatives. Pitts’ 1,026 receiving yards were the most by a rookie tight end since Bears legend Mike Ditka broke out for 1,076 yards in 1961. Though no longer teammates, Pitts should see plenty of Trask in the coming years with both playing in the NFC South.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Todd Kirkland, Getty Images