List: Greatest Buccaneers’ QBs of All-Time


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been active this off-season having to determine the right way to replace the greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady. The Pewter Pirates acted quickly to bring in 2017 Heisman winner and subsequent number one overall draft pick Baker Mayfield, whose first five years in the NFL have been underwhelming, to say the least. The Bucs have also brought in former Los Angeles Rams backup John Wolford, who has since been dropped to their practice squad. 

For Mayfield, the upcoming campaign promises to be make or break. When he was drafted first overall by the Cleveland Browns, he was expected to be the face of the franchise in Ohio, and while there were early signs of promise, he was unable to live up to the lofty expectations set for him. He has since bounced around the Carolina Panthers and the aforementioned Rams, however, failed to set the world alight once more. 


He will be competing with former University of Florida standout Kyle Trask for a starting berth at Raymond James Stadium over the coming months, and that particular battle promises to be an interesting subplot to the 2023 season. Those who are using NFL odds to bet this season will have noticed that the bookies aren’t particularly impressed with either option and as such, have priced the 2020 champions at huge odds of +12500 to lift the Lombardi next February. To put that into perspective, only the Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans have longer odds than Todd Bowles’ Buccaneers. 


With two new QBs in the setup in Tampa Bay, we decided now would be the perfect time to take a trip through the history books and remember some of the greatest players to have rallied the offensive line in that famous red uniform over the years. If either Mayfield or Trask can perform anywhere close to the standard of these legends, then they won’t have to worry about those massive betting odds ever again. 

Tom Brady 

Many were skeptical when Tom Brady secured a move to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020 following his release from the New England Patriots. However, after leading the team to a Super Bowl victory in his maiden campaign at Raymond James Stadium, there is no doubt that the GOAT has secured his spot as one of the franchise’s greatest-ever quarterbacks. During that vaunted 2020 season, Brady threw for a whopping 4,633 yards including 40 touchdowns, the fifth best of his two-decade-long career at the age of 43 at the time. 


Prior to his arrival in Tampa, the Bucs hadn’t even reached the playoffs in 13 years, never mind winning the entire thing, and you had to go back another five years for their last playoff victory. But with the former New England star at the helm, they reached the postseason for three consecutive campaigns, and their GOAT racked up a mighty 14,643 passing yards in the process. 

Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson was signed by the Buccaneers in 2001 and went on to helm the team’s most successful season- Super Bowl XXXVII. Johnson threw for 3,049 yards and 22 touchdowns that year, but he was a game manager whose strength was taking care of the ball. He was never a dominant passer, but the Buccaneers’ defense and their effective running game helped him to be one of the most successful quarterbacks in Buccaneers’ history.

Josh Freeman

Josh Freeman was drafted by the Buccaneers in the first round in 2009, and though he had his ups and downs in his five years with the team, his rollercoaster ride was still enough to land him on this list. Freeman threw for over 3,400 yards in both 2010 and 2012 and threw a career-high 27 touchdowns in 2012. Despite his potential, he also led the league in interceptions with 22, but his overall ability still made him one of the better quarterbacks in team history.

Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston was another first-round pick who saw flashes of brilliance but also had his share of off-field and on-field issues during his five-year career in Tampa Bay. Despite this, there is no denying his raw talent and production on the field. Winston threw for over 4,000 yards in four of his five seasons with the team, and his 121 touchdown passes are more than any other Buccaneers quarterback in team history.

Doug Williams

Without a doubt, Doug Williams was considered the greatest quarterback in the history of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ prior to the aforementioned Brady’s arrival. He was drafted in the first round of the 1978 NFL Draft and played five seasons in Tampa Bay. In 1979, he led the Buccaneers to their first-ever playoff appearance, and in 1984, he set a franchise record with 31 touchdown passes in a single season. Williams also holds the distinction of being the only Buccaneers quarterback to lead the team to a Super Bowl appearance, which he did in 1979.

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