By Andy Villamarzo
Hernando Sun sports writer
TAMPA- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have solidified who their backup quarterback for Tom Brady will be and no, it’s not Jameis Winston.
On Thursday, the Buccaneers announced that they have re-signed backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert to a one-year deal, per NFL insider Ian Rapoport. The deal confirms that the Buccaneers are in fact bringing back Gabbert as the club’s backup for a second straight season. Gabbert spent most of 2019 on the injury list.
The former No. 10 pick of the 2011 NFL Draft never lived up to the expectations of being selected in the first round by the Jacksonville Jaguars. After his time in Jacksonville, Gabbert made stints with the San Francisco 49ers under Chip Kelly and with the Arizona Cardinals under Bruce Arians. Much of the reason the Buccaneers brought Gabbert back was based on his familiarity with Arians’ offensive scheme.
Many fans throughout the Tampa Bay area had been voicing their opinion of having Winston sit behind Brady for two seasons as a backup before re-taking his starting quarterback role.
The signing of Gabbert puts aside any last gasps of that being any sort of possibility. Winston has still yet to latch on with an NFL club this off-season, as many teams have signed quarterbacks.
Possibilities were ranging from the New England Patriots, who were obviously in the market for a starting quarterback because of the departure of Brady. It looks like the Patriots will be moving ahead with quarterbacks Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer, with the possibility they may sign someone this off-season.
Other teams that seemed to be in the market for quarterbacks and might be interested in signing Winston were the Los Angeles Chargers, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins. Each club has addressed their starting or backup quarterback roles for the upcoming 2020 season.
The NFL is continuing on planning to move ahead with a 2020 season taking place, despite concerns about the COVID-19 virus still being at large throughout the rest of the year. League executives have stated that nonetheless, the season is being planned to take place as scheduled. The 2020 NFL Draft, which is slated to take place April 23 – 25, was slated to be in Las Vegas but then moved to be a remote event because of COVID-19 concerns.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.