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

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

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.

Top NFL Free Agent Quarterbacks Available

1. Dak Prescott – Cowboys
2. Jacoby Brissett – Colts
3. Jameis Winston – Saints
4. Ryan Fitzpatrick – Dolphins
5. Mitchell Trubisky – Bears

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

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.

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About the Author: Mark Cook

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 mark@pewterreport.com
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3 months ago

If a Q.B. fell to #32? That five year rookie deal would give him two years at least with Brady, and still have plenty of contract left for our future. Mark I know you believe we need Godwin back, but what if we tag him, and work out a trade? If we could get at least a first for him, shouldn’t we do it? We have receiving options. Adding an extra 1st round pick for Godwin?

Reply to  surferdudes
3 months ago

Understand your thought process, but tough to spend a 1st on a QB who may not play for what could be up to 3 years. Especially when you’ve got aging vets at DL/LB who will need replacing in the next year or two, let alone adding quality OL depth that needs replenishing.

Good wins with Godwin
Reply to  surferdudes
3 months ago

The days of a talent like Aaron Rodgers slipping to the end of the first round are long gone. Teams are too QB hungry and every year are willing to give up significant assets to move up. The only quarterback we could get at 32 is bound to be a reach and not worth it. Not to mention, it would be silly to draft a player that can only warm the bench in Brady’s last year under contract. Why wouldn’t we go after a player that can contribute to this year’s Super Bowl run instead?

Reply to  Good wins with Godwin
3 months ago

The GOAT wasn’t picked up in the first round. The best QB’s aren’t the ones with the fantastic skills that you can only find early in the 1st round. They’re the ones that have it all upstairs. How many early round QB’s have we selected that have gone on to either suck or be average? Vinny, Dilfer, Freeman, and Winston all struggled with the upstairs stuff and you could see the result. Dilfer was able to get a SB win by not sucking. History is filled with failed 1st round QB’s.

3 months ago

Of the top five FA QBs listed I’d take FitzMagic. He’d be a great backup for TB12. I’m not sure what the market is for him right now, but I’ll bet he’d LOVE to finally make the playoffs and get himself a ring.

Pete Wood
3 months ago

If the Bucs sign Winston as a free agent, I’m coming down to Tampa to kick ass and chew bubble gum. And I’m all out of bubble gum.

Reply to  Pete Wood
3 months ago

The question is, would you kick ass “They Live” style? Or Duke Nukem style? That’s what we need to know. I’d go Duke Nukem on them, but that’s just me.

Reply to  BucHarbour
3 months ago

Duke Nukem for sure!!

3 months ago

What about the idea of trading a couple later round picks for Minshew and have him sit a year or two to learn behind Brady and see if he could potentially be the future.

3 months ago

That review is the epitome of “meh”. Our backups…meh. The free agents….meh. Anyway, the most astonishing thing in that article is the fact that a person can apparently make $1 million (for years in a row) to do nothing but practice with an NFL team.

Reply to  EastEndBoy
3 months ago

Griffin has made a career of it, staying healthy and making $7M+ over 8 seasons doing exactly that. A good gig if you can get it I guess…

3 months ago

Drafting a QB at some point to learn behind Brady seems like a no-brainer, but with his competitiveness, unsure how he is as a mentor to an understudy QB. He seems to have a solid relationship with Gabbert (who’s going to be re-signed), but unsure how he worked with Garrapolo for example. Do think though that the environment here with an understudy QB would have a different vibe than in NE, with Tom ‘actually” being closer to the end of his career than when NE drafted JimmyG in the 2nd rnd in ’14 as a possible hint that his end… Read more »

3 months ago

With Fitzmagic looking for some playing time, Gabbart is the best option for the backup role. For QB3 I would like to see a late round QB, but I don’t know if there will be someone interesting

3 months ago

Imagine making close to a mill a year and the only worry you have is whether or not you need to wash your uniform before the next game.

3 months ago

If I were the Bucs, I’d re-sign Gabbert and then draft a potential replacement this year. You need to have 2 potential long term starters sitting behind Brady in case he gets injured and you want to have a long term succession plan ready. I just hope if they do pick one up that Licht has learned that winning QB play is all about what is above the shoulders far more than having a cannon arm and mobility. Just watch the Super Bowl if a reminder is needed. I still like Trask for us, but doubt he’d be around. But… Read more »