On Tuesday morning, the Bucs announced that they have re-signed free agent backup quarterback Ryan Griffin for his seventh straight year in Tampa Bay. Griffin will slot in as the no. 2 quarterback behind Tom Brady for now, with last year’s 2nd stringer Blaine Gabbert remaining unsigned.
Originally signing with the Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2014, Griffin lasted a year in New Orleans before being waived. He signed with the Bucs in 2015 and has been with the team ever since, despite appearing in just two games and throwing just four passes. Griffin’s career has been quiet, but he gained notoriety by helping keep Tom Brady upright at the Bucs’ Super Bowl boat parade after the star quarterback had a little too much “avocado tequila”.
Ryan Griffin is also immortalized as keeping Tom Brady upright after the boat parade celebrating their Super Bowl win two months ago … pic.twitter.com/BbRhhtiN5v
It’s unclear at this time what the re-signing of Griffin means for the future of Gabbert, who most expected to return to the team this offseason to backup Brady again. Gabbert stepped in admirably for the second half of a blowout win over Detroit this past season, and has earned praise from GM Jason Licht and head coach Bruce Arians for the way he’s grown as a player in Tampa Bay. But Gabbert’s asking price may be a little bit higher than the Bucs are willing to go in an offseason where the cap is tight.
The Bucs have now re-signed 14 of their own free agents this offseason, and one outside free agent in running back Giovani Bernard. Just two key players remain unsigned in Gabbert and WR Antonio Brown, with nine days remaining before the 2021 NFL Draft.
Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft