So why would the team need to re-sign veteran Blaine Gabbert, too?
Gabbert won the backup job in training camp last year due to his experience playing in the NFL and his knowledge of Bruce Arians’ offense. Gabbert spent the 2017 season in Arizona before reuniting with Arians in Tampa Bay in 2019.
“I really hope that we can get Blaine done soon and go in and have normal competition,” Arians said. “Blaine has proven what he can do for us. So, yeah. Hopefully we can get that done soon.”
Florida QB Kyle Trask – Photo by: USA Today
Should Gabbert re-sign with the Bucs as expected, he would enter the 2021 season as Tom Brady’s backup due to that knowledge. Asking Trask to be the No. 2 QB as a rookie and come in and win a game for the Bucs if something were to happen to Brady would be a tall order. Instead, Trask and Griffin would battle for the No. 3 quarterback job – a job that Trask would likely win due to his draft status.
The Bucs do need a fourth arm for training camp and Griffin would serve that role. His best chance for making the team would be if there was an injury to Brady, Gabbert or Trask in August. Then Griffin would ascend up the depth chart due to his knowledge of Arians’ offense dating back to the 2019 season.
Griffin didn’t dress for a single game last year, but Gabbert saw action in two games – against Green Bay and at Detroit. He completed 9-of-16 passes (56.3 percent) for 143 yards and two touchdowns and carried the ball nine times for 16 yards, while being sacked once.
Whether you believe in Gabbert or not, the Bucs do. Both Arians and general manager Jason Licht have spoken highly of Gabbert and what he brings to Tampa Bay.
“First of all, I love his energy,” Licht said about Gabbert on the Pewter Report Podcast. “I’ve really gotten close to Blaine this year just being on the sidelines. He’s a really smart guy but he is one guy, my scouts and I talk about this a lot, he’s just one guy that I love to watch throw every day in practice because he has got a cannon. He’s very accurate with his throws as well and he can just really whistle them in in tight windows. If he had been forced to play – he played in the Detroit game – but if he had been forced to play more I think that he would have really opened a lot of people’s eyes about how talented he is, especially being in the same system for a couple of years.”
Gabbert wants a pay increase from the $1.05 million he made last year. The Bucs appear to have the leverage, especially since drafting Trask in the second round.
Trask, who wore No. 11 at Florida, will wear No. 2 in Tampa Bay because the Bucs are saving No. 11 for Gabbert. That’s a pretty good sign that Gabbert will be back soon.
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: email@example.com
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