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Jets' Mike White Listed as Possible Replacement For Tom Brady After Bucs' QB Announces Retirement

ESPN's Bill Barnwell walked through what could happen after Tom Brady's retirement this offseason in an article this week, naming Mike White as a possible replacement for the all-time great in Tampa Bay.
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After 22 seasons and seven Super Bowl titles, Tom Brady is retiring. 

That means the Buccaneers need a new quarterback. 

Tampa Bay could pass the baton to a quarterback within the organization (like Kyle Trask) or sign a QB in free agency (Jameis Winston comes to mind). The Buccaneers would arguably be able to bring in the best possible option by making a trade, though. 

In an ESPN article this week, Bill Barnwell ran through some hypothetical replacements for both the Buccaneers—after Brady's retirement—and Green Bay Packers—if Aaron Rodgers is traded elsewhere. One quarterback listed by Barnwell and linked to Tampa Bay is a name that will bring back some fond memories for Jets fans...

Mike White, Jets: You remember that two-week period in which White was the best quarterback in New York, right? He struggled badly in throwing four interceptions against the Bills, but when he wasn't playing the best defense in football, the 26-year-old looked like he belonged in the NFL.

Remember: White went 37-of-45 for 405 yards with three touchdowns (and two picks) in helping the Jets beat the Bengals, who are one win away from advancing to the Super Bowl. At 6-foot-4, it's not as if he's lacking for size or strength, either. I could absolutely see the Bucs taking a flier on him.

White is certainly an intriguing option. The backup quarterback didn't have an NFL snap in his career up until Zach Wilson's injury in Week 7 of this season. Stepping in for the rookie, White proceeded to put together a magical run under center in green and white, showing he has what it takes to start in this league.  

Making his first career start the following Sunday, White led the Jets to a victory over the Bengals (who play in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday). He was on pace for another dynamic performance a few days later, but only played one quarter during Thursday Night Football in Indianapolis due to a forearm injury.

As Barnwell alluded to, White's historic run came to a screeching halt against Buffalo. The 26-year-old threw four picks in a blowout loss, returning to his role on the bench for the final eight weeks of the season. He spent some time on the COVID-19 list as well during that span.

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White's frustrating finish to an unforgettable stretch of playing time doesn't mean he can't produce some solid numbers if he had a full season under center, taking over for an offense that has several talented playmakers. He's not Tom Brady, obviously, but you have to figure his run with the Jets this past season caught the attention of other teams. Perhaps Tampa Bay liked what they saw. 

That said, who knows if the Jets would make White available. He certainly made a lasting impression on the organization and the fan base with his unprecedented performance against Cincinnati, but was already a key piece in the quarterback room. If New York is able to re-sign Joe Flacco or bring in a different veteran signal-caller this offseason, however, they could conceivably flip White for some draft capital while he has some value. 

This would also be a bit of a homecoming for White who played college ball at South Florida before transferring to Western Kentucky. Surely White would jump at an opportunity to have a starting role. After all, barring an injury or sudden change in plans, he'll be relegated to the sidelines with the Jets for the foreseeable future. 

Plus, White is much better than Brady at catching passes. That's gotta count for something, right? 

Barnwell also listed Carson Wentz (Colts), Jared Goff (Lions) and Drew Lock (Broncos) as possible trade options for the Buccaneers as they look to replace Brady this offseason. 

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