Blaine Gabbert

NFC Rumors: Cowboys, Falcons, Saints, Trask

Going into the 2022 offseason, the Cowboys knew that they needed to bolster their defensive line. Early reports rumored that Dallas had interest in adding a former rival in Jason Pierre-Paul, who spent eight years as a Giant before going to Tampa Bay.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that the Cowboys’ interest in Pierre-Paul seems to be waning, as Dallas believes they have “at least six capable edge rushers.” In the offseason, they added Dante Fowler through free agency and drafted Sam Williams out of Ole Miss last month. They’ll find themselves in the pass rushing rotation with the likes of Dorance Armstrong, Tarell Basham, DeMarcus Lawrence, and Chauncey Golston.

Here are a few other rumors from around the NFC, starting with a few more rumors from Jeremy Fowler’s article:

  • Atlanta selected Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder in the third round, over every quarterback in the Draft, besides Kenny Pickett who was the only passer off the board at that point. Fowler reports that Ridder’s biggest competition for the pick was Liberty’s Malik Willis, but the Falcons felt that Willis lacked the signature moments at Liberty, even though he had incredible talent. Ridder, on the other hand, had a more complete body of work, in their opinion. It didn’t hurt that Ridder reportedly came to interviews with a plan on how to unseat a veteran starting quarterback wherever he landed.
  • Another team that was long rumored to be looking at quarterbacks in the Draft, New Orleans instead drafted wide receiver Chris Olave with their first round pick. According to Fowler, the Saints had no plans to draft a quarterback. They had Olave in their sights and, upon seeing Drake London and Garrett Wilson come off the board at Nos. 8 and 10 overall, they knew they needed to make a move to ensure Olave would be available. New Orleans apparently did an outstanding job of keeping their plans a complete mystery to the rest of the NFL.
  • With Tom Brady coming out of retirement to quarterback the Buccaneers, Tampa Bay has been evaluating their backup quarterback position. According to Greg Auman of The Athletic, Buccaneers quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen doesn’t see Kyle Trask competing with Blaine Gabbert for the backup job. This shouldn’t put Trask’s roster spot in jeopardy, though. Gabbert is one of the better backup quarterbacks in the league, but the plan for Trask was always for a post-Brady team. Tampa Bay is happy with Trask’s progress so far and will likely keep developing the 24-year-old for the future.

Buccaneers Bring Back Blaine Gabbert

The Buccaneers will ensure complete quarterback continuity by re-signing Blaine Gabbert. The team announced its backup’s return Wednesday.

A month ago, Tampa Bay was in market to replace Tom Brady. Bruce Arians having been Gabbert’s biggest backer also seemed to cloud the former first-rounder’s return prospects following the coach’s surprise exit. But Brady’s backup will return.

Gabbert has been with the Bucs since Arians’ Tampa arrival in 2019, initially backing up Jameis Winston. His return gives the Bucs a proven backup while also offering up questions about second-rounder Kyle Trask‘s status. The Bucs have Trask and longtime reserve Ryan Griffin, who recently re-signed, on their roster.

Given Brady’s return, it makes sense the Bucs wanting to backstop him with an experienced QB2. This will be Gabbert’s 12th NFL season. His run as the Jaguars’ starter did not last into a fourth season, and after three years with the 49ers, Gabbert found his way into Arians’ system. The ex-Missouri prospect made five starts with the 2017 Cardinals, impressing Arians to the point he not only brought the quarterback to Tampa but had talked him up as a possible Brady successor. GM Jason Licht has done the same.

The Bucs have not needed to start Gabbert, with Winston and Brady not missing any time over the past three seasons. This coming season will be his fourth with Byron Leftwich as an offensive coordinator.

NFC South Notes: Wirfs, Trask, Saints, Gilmore

The Buccaneers cruised on Super Wild Card Weekend to a mostly stress-free victory over the Eagles in January. While they were all smiles on the field, in the locker room, Pro Bowl right tackle Tristan Wirfs was preparing himself for a lengthy recovery. Wirfs left the game early in the first quarter with an apparent ankle injury and, soon after, found out that he had suffered two torn ligaments, including one off the bone, and was initially thought to need surgery to repair his ankle.

Well, according to The Athletic’s Jeff Howe, a second opinion informed Wirfs that surgery was not necessary and, after receiving an injection in the ankle, he’s made progress in his recovery and is expected to avoid surgery altogether.

Here are some other notes from the NFC South, starting with another note from central Florida:

  • According to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, head coach Bruce Arians has announced that quarterback Kyle Trask will be given a legitimate chance to replace Tom Brady in training camp. With the retirement of Brady leaving the position behind center wide open for the taking, the second-year player out of the nearby University of Florida will attempt to show his worth as the team’s second-round pick from last year. Veteran Blaine Gabbert spent the 2021 season as Brady’s primary backup, but he is heading back to the free agent market, unless Arians and company decide to bring him back. As of right now, Trask is the only active quarterback on contract in Tampa Bay. It has yet to be seen whom his competition will be.
  • On Monday, news dropped that the University of Alabama’s director of sports science, Dr. Matt Rhea, is expected to join the staff in New Orleans, according to Josh Pate of CBS Sports. Rhea has worked with the Tide for two years after a similar stint on staff with the Indiana Hoosiers. He also brings with him 13 years of experience as a strength and conditioning coach.
  • The Panthers acquired former Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore via a trade with the Patriots last season. After overcoming an early quad injury to start the season, Gilmore put forth an impressive performance in eight games for Carolina. The Panthers would love to bring Gilmore back on a new deal, but, with Gilmore expected to draw offers up to $14MM, he is expected to test free agency, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Contract Notes: Bucs, Rodgers, Rudolph, Pats

We’ve got a handful of interesting notes on contracts to pass along, including for several quarterbacks:

  • The Buccaneers’ quarterbacks room is a bit crowded now with Kyle Trask getting drafted in the second-round. One of Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Griffin will be the odd man out, since Bruce Arians won’t be keeping four signal-callers. “Their new contracts tell you who’s ahead” in the competition to hold Tom Brady‘s clipboard in 2021, Greg Auman of The Athletic tweets. Auman reports that Gabbert got $1.5MM in guaranteed money, $750K in base salary and a $750K signing bonus. On the other hand, Griffin only got a $75K signing bonus guaranteed. Gabbert has always been Bruce Arians’ guy, while Tampa’s front office has loved Griffin enough to keep him around since 2015. If these financial figures tell us anything, and they usually do, it’s that Gabbert will be back for the title defense while Griffin won’t be.
  • The language of Aaron Rodgers‘ contract is going to get a lot of attention if his current beef with the Packers turns into a real holdout. Rodgers earned a $6.8MM roster bonus on the third day of the league year, but he hasn’t actually received that money yet since it’s to be “paid concurrently with his 2021 base salary,” former NFL agent and current CBS Sports analyst Joel Corry tweets. Corry notes that Green Bay has “the right to take fines & any recapture of signing bonus due to a training camp holdout from this money.” There was talk of Rodgers having to pay back that $6.8MM, but it turns out he hasn’t even gotten it yet. The Packers can start chipping away at that the moment he doesn’t show up for mandatory practices.
  • One last quarterback note. Mason Rudolph recently got a one-year contract extension from the Steelers to keep him under team control through 2022, and it turns out the team gave him some real money. Rudolph’s new pact with Pittsburgh is worth $5MM for the 2022 season, which included a $2MM signing bonus, Mark Kaboly of The Athletic tweets. As Kaboly points out, Rudolph is the only passer the team has under contract for 2022. Rudolph hasn’t exactly looked like a franchise quarterback in his nine career starts, but with Ben Roethlisberger‘s status more than uncertain beyond this year, it makes since why the Steelers would want to make sure they have someone at least somewhat competent under center just in case.
  • When Trent Brown got traded from the Raiders back to the Patriots, he reworked his contract from having two years and $29.5MM left to a one-year pact for $11MM. Turns out that new one-year deal has some interesting details. The massive offensive tackle’s contract has a series of weight-based incentives, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe writes. The 6’8 behemoth will have earned $150K if he weighed “385 pounds or less on the first day of the offseason program (April 19).” Brown will have an opportunity to earn another $150K if he clocks in at or below 375 pounds on June 1, and another $200K for 365 pounds on July 15. That’s a total of a half million bucks in weight-based incentives. Brown was with the Patriots for one season back in 2018, and won Super Bowl LIII with the team.

Buccaneers To Re-Sign QB Blaine Gabbert

Recently, the Buccaneers became the first defending champ since 1993 to bring back all 22 starters for the following season. The front office is also making an effort to retain their backups. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports (via Twitter) that Tampa Bay is re-signing backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert. It’s a one-year deal worth $2.5MM for the veteran.

While the Buccaneers re-signed third-stringer Ryan Griffin and drafted Kyle Trask in the second round, the organization has made it clear that they intended to re-sign Gabbert. Bruce Arians explicitly said that he wanted to keep the veteran around, while GM Jason Licht went as far to insinuate that Gabbert could be an eventual successor to Tom Brady.

Gabbert has spent the past two seasons in Tampa, throwing for 143 yards and two scores (all in 2020). The former first-rounder hasn’t been a full-time starter since back in 2012, and he’s started only 21 games since the 2015 season. Still, Gabbert has familiarity with the system (he played for Arians in Arizona) and his teammates, so he’s a natural fit to back up Brady for at least another season.

With teams rarely carrying four active-roster quarterbacks, Gabbert re-signing would point Griffin to either the practice squad or another team, while Trask would settle into a developmental third-stringer role.

Buccaneers Hope To Re-Sign Blaine Gabbert

The Buccaneers took a swing at a potential Tom Brady successor this weekend, drafting Kyle Trask in the second round. Earlier this offseason, GM Jason Licht said Blaine Gabbert could be viewed as a realistic Brady baton recipient. That plan may still have life.

Despite the Bucs’ Trask pick and re-signing of third-stringer Ryan Griffin, Bruce Arians said he wants Gabbert back in the fold.

I really hope that we can get Blaine done soon,” Arians said, via JoeBucsFan.com. “And go in and have normal competition. Blaine has proven what he can do for us.”

Gabbert has spent the past two seasons in Tampa but has been a free agent since the market opened in mid-March. He also has a pre-Florida history with Arians, having played for the Cardinals as well. The former first-round pick has not been connected to other teams, and the Bucs have done a masterful job of keeping their free agents as they prepare to defend their Super Bowl title.

With teams rarely carrying four active-roster quarterbacks, Gabbert re-signing would point Griffin to either the practice squad or another team and Trask to a developmental third-stringer role. Gabbert, a 10-year veteran, could also opt to head to another team that does not have a highly drafted backup on the roster. But the Bucs have retained all the players they wanted to retain this offseason. And Arians clearly wants to retain Gabbert.

Buccaneers To Re-Sign Blaine Gabbert

The Buccaneers have made it official: Blaine Gabbert is headed back to Tampa to serve as the backup to Tom Brady. His one-year deal is “guaranteed,” according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter).

[RELATED: Bucs GM Jason Licht On Landing Tom Brady]

Gabbert, 31 in October, joined the Bucs this time last year. Unfortunately, his season ended before it could even begin, thanks to a dislocated shoulder suffered in the preseason.

Before that, Gabbert saw time in eight games (including three starts) for the Titans. As the QB2 to Marcus Mariota, he completed 60.4% of his passes for 626 yards, four touchdowns, and four interceptions.

Now, he’ll serve as Brady’s clipboard holder while continuing his relationship with head coach Bruce Arians. Arians coached Gabbert in Arizona, including the 2017 season in which he started five games.

Gabbert, the former No. 10 overall pick in the 2011 draft, has 49 career starts with a career 13-35 record and a 56.2% completion percentage. He also has a nearly 1:1 TD-INT ratio.

Injury Notes: Gabbert, Gary, Ragnow

We heard earlier today that Buccaneers backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert had dislocated his non-throwing shoulder during last night’s preseason win over the Eagles. Fortunately, it doesn’t sound like the veteran will be out for an extended amount of time. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets that it isn’t expected to be a long-term injury.

While Gabbert may not be sidelined for all that long, the team is still eyeing some reinforcement at the position. ESPN’s Jenna Laine tweets that the Buccaneers have looked at signing Vincent Testaverde. The 23-year-old had spent the early parts of camp with Tampa Bay, and his head start on the offensive playbook could give him an edge over other free agent quarterbacks. Besides starter Jameis Winston, the only other healthy quarterback on the roster is undrafted rookie Nick Fitzgerald.

Let’s check out some more injury notes from around the NFL…

  • Packers linebacker Rashan Gary was carted off the field during Thursday night’s loss to the Raiders. Fortunately, it sounds like the 21-year-old is doing alright. RG Sports Agency tweets that Gary is “fine and doing well.” The rookie had suffered a lower-body injury early in the game, and he was later carted off the field after taking a hit to the head and neck area. The Michigan product was the 12th-overall pick in this past year’s draft.
  • Lions center Frank Ragnow was carted off the field after suffering a right leg injury during last night’s loss to the Bills. If the 2018 first-round pick has to miss time, Detroit’s offensive line situation will be bleak. As Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press tweets, the team currently has journeyman Kenny Wiggins and former fifth-rounder Joe Dahl slotted in at offensive guard. The team was originally counting on Wiggins to be their top backup offensive tackle with Tyrell Crosby out of the lineup.
  • There’s some good injury news! Free agent cornerback Chris Campbell has been cleared from his mild hamstring strain and is now ready to audition for teams, tweets ESPN’s Mike Triplett. The 23-year-old was waived/injured by the Saints early in training camp. Campbell was a 2018 sixth-round pick out of Penn State, but he didn’t make an appearance during his rookie campaign.

Bucs QB Blaine Gabbert Dislocates Shoulder

It sounds like the Buccaneers may need another quarterback. Coach Bruce Arians said that backup signal-caller Blaine Gabbert dislocated his non-throwing shoulder during last night’s preseason win (via The Athletic’s Greg Auman on Twitter). ESPN’s Jenna Laine tweets that it’s not yet known if Gabbert will need surgery.

Arians also added that the team could end up signing another quarterback (via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times on Twitter), although the head coach acknowledged that he’s very content rolling with Ryan Griffin as Jameis Winston‘s primary backup.

“More than comfortable,” Arians said. “He’s proven with some of the guys he’s playing with, directing them, poise. He’s moved our team up and down the field, just like he did again tonight.”

The Buccaneers signed Gabbert back in March, and his addition was partly attributed to his familiarity with Arians’ offense. The 29-year-old got into eight games (three) starts last season for the Titans, completing 60.4-percent of his passes for 626 yards, four touchdowns, and four interceptions. He previously teamed up with Arians in Arizona, including a 2017 campaign where he started five games.

As Arians mentioned, the team is comfortable having Griffin as Winston’s main backup, and the former undrafted free agent proved his worth last night. Griffin finished last night’s game having completed 11 of his 17 passes for 121 yards and one score.

Buccaneers To Sign Blaine Gabbert

The Buccaneers are expected to sign quarterback Blaine Gabbert in the next 24 hours, according to Greg Auman of The Athletic (on Twitter). Once signed, Gabbert will be primed to serve as the backup to starter Jameis Winston

Gabbert, 30 in October, spent last season as Marcus Mariota‘s primary backup but was released by the club earlier this month. In eight games (three starts), Gabbert completed 60.4% of his passes for 626 yards, four touchdowns, and four interceptions. The 2011 first-round pick has had stints with the Jaguars, 49ers, Cardinals, and Titans during his eight-year career, and he’ll don a new uni in 2019.

Gabbert entered the league as the No. 10 overall pick in the 2011 draft, but he hasn’t lived up to the billing. In 48 starts, he has a career 13-35 record and a 56.2% completion percentage. He also has a nearly 1:1 TD-INT ratio.

However, he could be a worthwhile emergency option behind Winston, who has been largely healthy save for shoulder trouble in 2017.