Blaine Gabbert Signing: What Does it Mean?

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have brought back Blaine Gabbert on a one year contract to back up quarterback Tom Brady. He is already familiar with Bruce Arians and his offense. Ryan Griffin is still on the roster. This signing has deep implications leading up to the NFL Draft and beyond.

The Return

Per Ian Rapoport, The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are bringing back Blaine Gabbert. The one year deal will put him in competition to back up Tom Brady and provide some continuity and depth to the offense.

Initially brought on board last season, Gabbert has an understanding of the offense and is familiar with Bruce Arians. He played under Arians and Byron Leftwich in Arizona. During his time in Arizona, Gabbert was thrust into starting after an injury to Carson Palmer. He started off well with 257 yards and three touchdowns in his initial start against the Houston Texans. He would go on to win two and lose three during the 2017 season as a starter. His short time ended abruptly as he was benched in favor of Drew Stanton after being unable to throw a touchdown in the last two games.

Last season as he was competing for the primary back up role Gabbert was injured during the third preseason game. The dislocated shoulder had him landing on injured reserve.

Camp Battle

First, with Gabbert’s return, the competition is set for training camp and preseason. Once again Ryan Griffin will have to fight to lock on a roster spot and keep Gabbert at bay. Statistically speaking, Griffin outplayed Gabbert during yhe 2019 preseason and with a full year under Bruce Arians’ offensive scheme may be the front runner to be the primary back up. However, the advantage may swing in Gabbert’s favor. Arians may be just be more comfortable with Gabbert and he has much more starrtng experience.

This will be a preseason battle to watch.

Aiding Brady and the Draft

With the draft approaching the Buccaneers now have three quarterbacks under contract. Two of whom will be for minimal salaries. Both with experience in the Buccaneer’s offense.

At this juncture, the Tampa Bay quarterback situation seems set. Arians has a trio of players, two with a good knowledge of the offense. Gabbert and Griffin will now be leaned on to aide Brady in learning the playbook and getting comfortable with the offense. Their value is now bolstered in their ability to accelerate Brady’s growth on the team. Additionally, Gabbert and Griffin can step in in case of an injury to Brady and possess a grasp of the offense.

For a rookie to come in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the offensive staff would have to dedicate time to teaching a rookie quarterback from scratch. Subsequently, the tedious process would take away from getting Brady up to speed and impede his ability to connect with the current set of weapons he has at his disposal.

In my opinion the signing of Gabbert sends a clear message. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will not be picking a quarterback in this year’s draft. Once Brady has a year under his belt on his two-year contract the Buccaneers may then address the future of the franchise in the 2021 draft. Until then the team must address more pressing needs.

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