Over the next month until the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take the field for training camp, AllBucs plans to break down the team's roster, position by position, in order to prepare onlookers for what to watch for during the 2021 season.
This series isn't supposed to turn into a clear projection of the depth chart, although starters at some positions will appear rather obvious. Instead, this exercise should provide insight as to which players should make meaningful contributions to a run at another Super Bowl and what the Bucs' depth looks like.
We'll begin with Tampa Bay's crowded quarterback room for our first Buccaneers' positional outlook.
Buccaneers current quarterbacks
- Tom Brady
- Blaine Gabbert
- Ryan Griffin
- Kyle Trask (rookie)
There isn't much of a conversation to be had here: Tampa Bay returns a seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback as its starting quarterback for 2021 in Tom Brady. Brady's March 2020 signing with the Bucs altered the course of the franchise forever, boosting one of the league's most underperforming squads over the last decade into a championship winner for the first time since 2003.
Despite entering a new offensive system for the first time in his career and beginning the season at the age of 43, Brady found his groove in Tampa Bay en route to a 4633 yard, 40-touchdown season in 2020. Brady's touchdown count was the second-highest in a regular season in his career.
Can Brady be even better in his second season with the Bucs than he was in his first? Although he isn't getting any younger, he's shown that age has yet to slow him down - and logically speaking, following a season dramatically altered by the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that it was Brady's first year in Tampa Bay, it's impossible to rule out improved production in 2021.
Depth: Who will be the odd man out?
While Brady has the No. 1 spot on Tampa Bay's quarterback depth chart locked down, there will be a battle between three players for two spots to back him up.
Seasoned veterans Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Griffin both held a spot on Tampa Bay's roster last season, but one will almost undoubtedly be replaced this season by second-round draft pick Kyle Trask.
The Bucs have expressed immense confidence in both Gabbert and Griffin, but the team won't cut a day two pick at the quarterback position or attempt to place him on the practice squad. Both veterans were re-signed on one inexpensive one-year contracts this offseason and either one can affordably be released in the preseason, depending on who loses the competition for QB2.
Trask is not expected to hold the No. 2 role as a rookie and will instead be developed slowly behind Brady and one of Gabbert and Griffin this year.
May the best man win.
When training camp arrives, the quarterback room will be filled with headlines worth monitoring.
Brady underwent surgery on his left knee this offseason, and his health and performance will own the eyes of all media in attendance. Gabbert vs. Griffin could turn into a neck-and-neck competition given both quarterback's comfort in the system and experience. And of course, Trask's development will be critical to observe.
Stay tuned to AllBucs for further coverage of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offseason updates, and other news and analysis.