With Tom Brady retired, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a quarterback problem.
They’re not the only NFL team dealing with this; it seems to be an epidemic.
Could the Bucs orchestrate a hassle-free transition to Brady’s replacement, free agent Blaine Gabbert, in 2022?
It’s only February, so there’s plenty of time to change your mind, but coach Bruce Arians seems to think Gabbert is a real possibility.
Blaine Gabbert ➡️ QB1 in Tampa Bay? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/ZXLHVMbkqd
— theScore (@theScore) February 23, 2022
Arians makes a good point about Gabbert being shuffled around under different coaches and coordinators, but it still doesn’t seem like Gabbert is a reliable starting quarterback for the Bucs, and here are the reasons why.
1. A reliable backup
Some quarterbacks are meant to be backups, and that’s not a bad thing.
There are only 32 starters each season, so there are a limited number of starting jobs available.
Gabbert has been in the NFL for 10 years; he presumably had plenty of opportunities to compete for a starting job over those 10 seasons.
Instead, he started just 48 games.
.@Realrclark25 says Blaine Gabbert shouldn’t replace Tom Brady.
“I’m sure he has respect in the dressing room. Last time I checked, respect never wins you any football game. pic.twitter.com/XIg3U7LNcn
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) February 24, 2022
2. Never played a full season
Doing the math from above, Gabbert’s career average is four starts per season, and even that number is misleading.
Of his 48 starts, 24 came in his first two seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011 and 2012.
Going from his previous average to starting a 17-game regular season at age 32 seems unrealistic.
3. Inexperienced in big game moments
The Bucs failed to repeat themselves as Super Bowl champions, but they’re still a very good team that has stars who can play in the big moments.
This team has Leonard Fournette and Mike Evans as some of their offensive weapons.
They need a quarterback who has handled the pressure in the big games to lead them to the playoffs in the post-Tom Brady era.
Gabbert is not that guy.
Blaine Gabbert leaving for the Bucs is the very definition of cowardice. It literally means “we’re cool not winning a Super Bowl in 2022”. I don’t know how you can justify that by looking at the Rams. Even if you can’t find someone else, Gabbert doesn’t advance the franchise one iota.
— The PewterPlank (@ThePewterPlank) February 22, 2022
Gabbert is uncertain, and there are other potential QB1s available
Because there are so many question marks associated with Gabbert and the fact that there would be some big named quarterbacks looking to move this offseason, the Bucs need to get off the Gabbert bandwagon and invest in a new starting quarterback.
Jimmy Garoppolo, Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Carson Wentz and Mitchell Trubisky are possibilities the Bucs need to do their due diligence on.
Offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich can help work with Wentz and Trubiskly at this critical crossroads in their careers.
Not a suitable scheme.. but considering the other options are Blaine Gabbert and Kyle Trask… Jimmy is better than those two. https://t.co/ZBq9X4CzHr
— BrianCarter99 (@BrianPNW99) February 21, 2022
However, if the Bucs want to go big, like the Los Angeles Rams, they will pursue a veteran who can transition smoothly and not be afraid to walk in Tom Brady’s shadow.
Considering they are only a year away from their Super Bowl championship, veterans should want to come to Tampa Bay.
They see how well the transition has worked for Brady and want a similar experience.
In the meantime, Gabbert is a stalwart replacement who can show this new quarterback the ropes and be Tampa’s tour guide, so the Bucs should definitely re-sign him in that capacity.