Tom Brady has retired from the NFL, unless he actually hasn't. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and head coach Bruce Arians are reportedly leaving the door open for a possible change of heart for the 2022 season, but they also know they have to get to work on a viable contingency plan in the event the seven-time Super Bowl winner doesn't take his feet off of his ottoman next season. That plan might involve quarterback Blaine Gabbert getting the nod as QB1, or at least that's how it appears Arians is positioning him.

Gabbert enters this offseason as a free agent who spent last season as Brady's backup for $2 million, and Arians wants it known just how much he and the Bucs believe in the veteran's abilities.

"People may not like the overall record, but Blaine had eight head coaches and eight coordinators his first eight years," Arians said, via The Tampa Bay Times. "He beat Jacksonville their best year and beat Tennessee their big year for us in Arizona. And he's been in the system now." 

The Buccaneers also have Kyle Trask, a former second-round pick out of Florida who is readying for his second season in the NFL. It doesn't appear the team is sold on Trask being ready for the big stage yet, however, according to his head coach.

"I don't have a problem there and let Kyle continue to grow," Arians added. "Either one. [Gabbert] has never played with a team this good. He's got all the respect in the locker room that he can have."

Gabbert will turn 33 in October and should the Buccaneers re-sign him -- a fairly easy task -- he'd potentially take the reins as starter with an uncomfortable NFL record of 13-35, having thrown 47 interceptions to 50 touchdowns to the tune of a QB rating of 72.4. 

Those numbers are the literal antithesis of what the Bucs are losing thanks to Brady's retirement, but Arians sees something in Gabbert no one else does, and that will either pay off big or end miserably; assuming they don't circle back and attempt a blockbuster move at QB that would mirror the one they did to acquire Brady two years ago.