He may not have gone viral holding up his starting quarterback during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl celebration earlier this year, but Blaine Gabbert was the man standing behind Tom Brady throughout the 2020 season. With his signing made official, he’ll be doing so again for 2021 - at least we think he will.
Buccaneers Re-Sign Blaine Gabbert— Buccaneers Communications (@BuccaneersComms) May 10, 2021
The return of Gabbert is just another reminder of the amazing job Jason Licht and Tampa Bay’s front office have done in not only bringing back so many contributors from last year but putting the team in a position to do so in the first place.
From the long list of players who could have left following last season, including Shaquil Barrett, Ndamukong Suh, and Lavonte David, only five have actually done so thus far.
Andrew Adams, Ryan Smith, Antony Auclair, and Joe Haeg have all signed elsewhere, and A.Q. Shipley won’t play for the Bucs, because he’ll be coaching on the staff.
Brady will now operate in the same quarterback room he had last year, with the addition of rookie Kyle Trask. Trask, the former Florida Gators quarterback selected in the second round of this year’s NFL Draft has already commented about Brady reaching out to get to know each other. Now, he’ll have another veteran with over 40 NFL starts under his belt to help set the young quarterback up for success.
The question this presents of course is the future of Ryan Griffin. The 31-year old who did go viral helping Brady to land at the end of the boat parade has spent just about all of his time in the NFL with the Bucs, despite having appeared in just two career games and throwing four passes in his career.
Now, with four passers on the roster and no chance the Bucs can hide Trask on the practice squad without other teams trying to poach him, a decision will have to be made eventually.
The NFL expanded practice squad sizes and rules last year to help teams account for complications involving COVID-19, but even those won’t guarantee they can keep all four quarterbacks on staff for the duration of the year.
That conversation can be tabled for another day though, as for now the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can celebrate the return of yet another valuable veteran.