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Three Free Agent Quarterbacks the Bucs Should Avoid Signing

While there will be a new quarterback in Tampa Bay, they should stay away from these options

San Francisco 49ers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

The Bucs will have a new QB in town this season, even if Kyle Trask will be given a shot to win the starting job. It won’t just be handed to him and there are a few names scheduled to be available that could be good options which I have already outlined.

The fact is that there are also names out there Tampa Bay should avoid signing, for many different reasons. Lets get into who those names are exactly and why they wouldn’t be great options for the Bucs.

Jimmy Garoppolo

Going to start off with the biggest name on this list one that has already been linked to the Buccaneers, even if there was some skepticism surrounding the probability of it. Garoppolo was a second round pick of the New England Patriots and was believed to be the successor to Tom Brady there, so how ironic would it be if Garoppolo replaced Brady in Tampa Bay? Garoppolo, 31 has been with the San Francisco 49ers since they traded for him in 2017 and has had a lot of success in terms of winning games there.

A big issue though is that Garoppolo has not been able to stay healthy throughout his career. In his five full seasons with San Francisco, Garoppolo has started 16 games just once, even though he did started 15 games in 2021. In 2018 he played in three games before tearing his ACL, the following 2019 season would be the only one where he would participate in every game and the 49ers went to the Super Bowl which they would lose to the Kansas City Chiefs. The next season, Garoppolo started six games and injured his ankle which caused him to miss significant time. In 2021 he would stay relatively healthy and then 2022 he would actually replace the injured starter Trey Lance and go 7-3 as a starter, before ultimately getting hurt again and missing the rest of the season.

Some could even argue that a lot of the Niners winning ways were due to a very talented roster and excellent system by Kyle Shannahan. Looking at his playoff performances, where he has a 4-2 record, he has thrown a total of four touchdowns and six interceptions and potentially blew the Super Bowl for San Francisco after missing Emmanuel Sanders on a deep ball late in the game. Spotrac’s projected market value for his contract is a four year deal worth 34.9 million dollars annually. I’m not even confident he finds a team to pay him that much, but even if it is slightly less, does the injury history and playoff performances really scream like a guy who is worth 20+ million dollars a year? I don’t think so and I hope the Bucs don’t as well.

Carson Wentz

One of the most recent names added to the veteran QB market. Wentz was recently released by the Washington Commanders after just one season. He will be looking for his third team in three fourth team in four seasons after flaming out in both Philly and Indianapolis before Washington. Wentz, 30 was a former second overall pick and has a lot of the tools teams look for in a quarterback. He’s big, got a strong arm, has sneaky mobility and he even has an MVP caliber season in 2017 in his resume. However, there is a reason QB starved teams like the Colts and Commanders decided that he was no longer a fit for them.

When things go bad for Wentz, he starts to crumble. Under the bright lights and in the biggest moments, he has proved he can’t deliver. Take 2021 for example, needing one win in the final two games to make it into the playoffs, Wentz and the Colts played the Raiders and then the Jaguars to close out the year. Wentz would play two of his worst games of the season, losing both contests including having an embarrassing performance against the Jaguars, who at the time were the worst team in the NFL and ended up with the first overall pick in the draft. In that game, a win and in scenario, the Colts scored 11 points and Wentz went 17-29 with one touchdown and an interception and posted a shocking 5.5 QBR. A 50.0 QBR is considered average and Wentz posted one of the lowest QBRs in over a decade in such a critical game.

Wentz has also had an issue with turnovers in the past, having double digit fumbles three separate times in his career. The Bucs would be much better off going in another direction when it comes to bringing in competition for Kyle Trask.

Gardner Minshew

I know, I know. I can already hear people saying “what!?” but here is the thing. I don’t think Gardner Minshew is a bad quarterback. He is probably the most attractive name on this list, but if I am the Bucs and I’m at the point of either signing Minshew or seeing what I have in Trask, I’m choosing the latter. Yes, “MinshewMania” would be a fun little thing to enjoy with his time here, but the fact is that Jacksonville replaced him for a reason after he went 1-7 in his starts in 2020. To be completely fair, that Jacksonville team was awful and ended up with the top pick in the draft that year which they used to select Trevor Lawrence, but Minshew did not impress me enough in that situation that I could feel comfortable with him starting games for me in 2023.

He was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles just before the 2021 season where he would spend two years as Jalen Hurts’ backup and he ended up starting four total games in Philly, having a record of 1-3 in those contests. I am going to take a look at his most recent starts, which were against Dallas on Christmas Eve and then the following week against the New Orleans Saints, both being losses. Vs Dallas, he actually played an exciting game, going 24-40 for 355 yards, and two touchdowns, but he also had three total turnovers, which were two interceptions and a fumble and even had another fumble that Philly was able to recover. Those turnovers potentially cost Philly in a six point loss. The following week though was not so pretty as the struggling Saints came to town and Minshew went 18-32 for 274 yards with one touchdown and one interception but again, had two fumbles but both were recovered by the Eagles. His offense would only put up 10 points before Jalen Hurts returned the following week.

Super Bowl LVII - Kansas City Chiefs v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Minshew is an exciting character, but I am just not sure how good of an NFL quarterback he can be. Maybe the Bucs do give him a chance as he is young enough and will be 27 years old at the start of the 2023 season, but they should either aim a bit higher, or give their young QB in house a shot.

These names should be ones the Bucs avoid for multiple different reasons. Injuries, price, overall play, etc. If Tampa Bay is looking to sign any of these guys, I personally think they would be served best to just give the job to Trask and see what you have rather than try an expensive or inconsistent retread. We will see what the Bucs do in the coming weeks to address the QB position, but these are names they should steer clear of.