Halfway through the AAF’s inaugural season, the Orlando Apollos stand as the lone undefeated team at 5-0. The offensive star leading the way has been the unsuspecting QB Garrett Gilbert.
Gilbert, 27, started his NFL career as a backup. First with the New England Patriots and then with the St. Louis Rams in 2014. In 2017, he was signed by the Carolina Panthers and in week 17, 2018, he played in a win vs the New Orleans Saints. His only regular season game action in the pro’s.
The week after the Super Bowl though, Gilbert would get a chance to really revive his career to prove he has a place in the NFL. Through five weeks in this start-up league, he has turned some heads for sure with his recent success. Can that success transfer to the NFL where the competition is surely higher?
Maybe. Maybe not. He could just be a product of a Steve Spurrier offense. The argument could be made though that Gilbert is the most equipped, so far, to take another crack at the NFL.
The Right Fit For Gilbert
In order for Gilbert to succeed in the NFL this next time around, he must enter the perfect situation. All three NFL teams in Florida (Buccaneers, Jaguars, and Dolphins) will have the first opportunity to pick over any potential players from the Apollos. And you could make the case for Gilbert in any of those three teams.
In an ideal world, a player would want an opportunity to start, but that may not be realistic for a career NFL backup. Despite recent success in the AAF. That’s why the right backup role, may be the best move for Gilbert. Where would that place be? Right here in Tampa Bay.
A move that brings Gilbert into a Bruce Arians led team could be the perfect opportunity for him to perfect his craft with the “QB whisperer”. It could also give the Buccaneers a very affordable option, and a backup with recent game time experience. Which would be a win-win for both sides. Tampa Bay has a backup QB role to fill if Ryan Fitzpatrick and Ryan Griffin don’t return at the start of free agency, and Garrett Gilbert could be the perfect fit.