Turning off the Licht on Fitzmagic! – Daniel Beebe


Tampa Bay had several injuries in the 2017 season, but none more notable than Jameis Winston. Winston had another solid year leading the Buccaneers, but the Buccaneers missed the playoffs again in 2017. Winston’s injury left the Buccaneers with Ryan Fitzpatrick leading the charge. Could they catch lightning in a bottle with a little Fitzmagic?

Fitzpatrick didn’t play terribly for the Buccaneers. He threw for over 1,100 yards. He had 7 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Fitzpatrick went 2-1 for the Buccaneers. GM Jason Licht expressed how much he likes the chemistry that Fitzpatrick has with Jameis Winston, but is not in negotiations with the veteran quarterback. Doesn’t make a lot of sense right. Fitzpatrick was very serviceable in 2017 and looked like he was capable of running the offense in Tampa. But everyone wants the young gunslingers of tomorrow. This year’s draft class is full of arms that could be better options for the Buccaneers. They will also be eyeing the free agents this off-season to solidify the backup spot at quarterback.

Some names that are on the free agent market currently are Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater, A.J. McCarron, Josh McCown, and Sam Bradford. All would be serviceable for the Buccaneers. I think the Keenum, Bridgewater, and McCarron would be the three quarterbacks Tampa could look at bringing in. All three would love to be starters in the NFL. Bridgewater (25) and McCarron (27) are the youngest out of this list. Obviously, Bridgewater comes with a whole bag full of injuries, but he may be worth taking a flier on.

Some notable quarterbacks in the draft class are Chase Litton (Marshall), Lamar Jackson (Louisville), Nic Shimonek (Texas Tech), and Kurt Benkert (Virginia). The draft will see quarterbacks fly off the board in the first round, but these guys could be better options later in the draft for the Buccaneers. Ryan Griffin is still under contract for the Buccaneers, so maybe they feel like drafting someone would be a better option for them currently, but I think most fans would rather see them address other positions and try to nab one of the free agents I spoke about earlier. Only time will tell what ownership decides to do for the Buccaneers in 2018.