Two years later and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are back to being a franchise without a starting quarterback. They must be afforded some time because replacing a player like Tom Brady is a Herculean task. 

Head coach Bruce Arians spoke to reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine on Tuesday. Two key points emerged from the interview

#1- The “best available” quarterbacks are unlikely to change teams.

#2- The door will always be open to Tom Brady should he wish to return. 

Replacing Tom Brady 

Two years ago, the Bucs were in this exact position. Searching for a top-level quarterback. Tom Brady arrived as a free agent and led the team to a Super Bowl win. This time around, however, the free-agent options are far from Brady’s calibre. Another factor is that the elite quarterbacks available via trade would be very expensive. 

“Trades are just out of the question, I think,” Arians said, amid speculation that Aaron Rodgers, the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson or Deshaun Watson could be traded. “These guys aren’t just willingly calling: ‘Hey, you want my guy?’ Who’s behind Door No. 2 for them? I don’t see very many of these guys getting traded. There might be one, max two, of the guys that we think could take us to the Super Bowls. I like about eight of them, but they’re all playing for somebody else. I don’t see guys giving up quarterbacks unless they’ve got a really good (backup) sitting on their bench, because this draft is a little thin.”

READ ALSO: Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina Powers Through Russian Potapova In Monterrey

There is a list of lower-level quarterbacks available in free agency. What the Bucs need is a situation that would allow them to keep their draft picks and spend less at the position. However, options like Teddy Bridgewater or Carson Wentz, if he’s released, might not be seen as significant upgrades. Finding a replacement for Tom Brady might take a lot more time and a lot of serious work to execute. An elite-level passer who understands the game thoroughly is required and getting one seems a harder task than anyone could have planned for.