While the Bucs are focused on keeping their Super Bowl LV champion team together by re-signing their own free agents, Tampa Bay will be looking to upgrade a number of positions. PewterReport.com takes a look at each unit over the next week, showcasing which players Tampa Bay could lose, and which players might replace them – including our Bucs’ Best Bets.
2021 Bucs Free Agent QBs
Table of Contents
QB Blaine Gabbert QB Ryan Griffin
The Buccaneers clearly aren’t looking for a starting quarterback after signing Tom Brady – the best of all time – last March as a free agent. Winning a Super Bowl with Brady under center proved to be the best free agent signing in team history, and he still has – at the moment – one more year left on his current deal, although there has been some talk of extending his contract for 2022 and possibly beyond.
Bucs QB Ryan Griffin – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
After Brady however, the Bucs have both of their backup quarterbacks slated to become free agents, and if both were to leave, Tampa Bay would need to acquire at least two more through free agency and the NFL Draft. If there is a normal offseason in 2021, which means actual on-field OTAs and mini-camps, they will need even more arms in camp with Brady undergoing minor offseason surgery that head coach Bruce Arians said would cause him to miss time until training camp begins in late July.
The 31-year old Gabbert only saw significant action in one game in 2020, playing the second half against the Lions in a blowout win. Jacksonville’s former first-round pick went 9-of-15 for 143 yards and two touchdowns. Griffin, who is also 31, has thrown just four passes in regular season action – those coming back in 2019, and he didn’t see any action this past season.
Others: Andy Dalton (Cowboys), Tyrod Taylor (Chargers), Colt McCoy (Giants), Cam Newton (Patriots), Blaine Gabbert (Bucs), Mike Glennon (Jaguars), A.J. McCarron (Texans)
Bucs QB Outlook
The Buccaneers will need arms in April, May and June with Brady recovering from offseason surgery and to back him up during the regular season. The Buccaneers could also add a quarterback in this year’s upcoming NFL Draft, but will have a veteran or two in the mix, most likely with Gabbert returning to serve as Brady’s backup. While not a pressing need this year given Brady’s desire to play the 2021 season and maybe return for the 2022 campaign, finding Brady’s ultimate successor would be ideal sooner rather than later. The reason? To get that signal caller some exposure to the greatest to ever play the game.
Bucs’ Best Bet: Blaine Gabbert
Bucs QB Blaine Gabbert – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Gabbert is almost certainly expected to be back in 2021 as Brady’s backup. Arians has raved about Gabbert since he got to Tampa Bay prior to the 2019 season and general manager Jason Licht also recently said on the Pewter Report Podcast that the team like Gabbert and sees him as a viable option if he were to be pressed into action. From all reports, Gabbert loves living in Tampa Bay and being part of the organization. And in return, the Buccaneers love his arm and toughness. The fact Gabbert has three years experience in the Arians and Byron Leftwich’s system – dating back to their time together in Arizona in 2017 – makes it that more likely he returns to the Buccaneers organization.
Griffin could also be back for his ninth season if he would sign for the league veteran minimum ($990,000). Griffin’s lack of game experience combined with his age won’t make him coveted as a free agent around the NFL.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at email@example.com
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