Mon, 14 Jun 2021

Blaine Gabbert Returns to Bucs' QB Corps

Buccaneers
11 May 2021, 19:26 GMT+10

Tampa Bay Buccaneers The Buccaneers have re-signed QB Blaine Gabbert, who has made 48 career starts in the NFL and was Tom Brady's primary backup during the 2020 Super Bowl season Scott Smith

Cross another name off the list of players who could have left the Super Bowl LV champions via free agency.

That list, which once stood at 24 players, became even shorter on Monday when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced the re-signing of veteran quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Gabbert, who served as Tom Brady's primary backup throughout the Bucs' 2020 Super Bowl season, rejoins a group that also still includes Ryan Griffin and has since welcomed second-round draft pick Kyle Trask into the fold.

Gabbert is the 14th player from that initial list of potential unrestricted free agents to re-sign with the Buccaneers, following Griffin, who inked his new deal on April 20. In addition, reports indicate that wide receiver Antonio Brown has an agreement with the team, though there has not been an official signing yet. Four 2020 Buccaneers - Andrew Adams, Antony Auclair, Joe Haeg and Ryan Smith - have signed with other teams and A.Q. Shipley has retired. That leaves just five unsigned players from the original list of UFAs, including Brown.

Gabbert originally signed with the Buccaneers in March of 2019, not long after his former coach in Arizona, Bruce Arians, took over as Tampa Bay's head coach. A preseason shoulder injury kept him out of regular-season action and eventually forced him to injured reserve in 2019 but he signed another deal with the Bucs last spring. This time, he secured the second spot on the depth chart behind Brady and was active for all 20 games, including the postseason.

Gabbert briefly got into three games in the middle of the season but mostly to execute end-game kneel-downs and he threw just one pass in those contests. However, Arians gave Brady the second half off in a Week 16 blowout at Detroit and Gabbert came in to complete nine of 15 passes for 143 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 125.8.

Gabbert (6-5, 235) originally entered the NFL as a first-round pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars, selected 10th overall in 2011. He played three seasons in Jacksonville and made 27 starts, including 14 in his rookie campaign. The Jaguars traded Gabbert to San Francisco in March of 2014 and he made 13 more starts over three seasons with the 49ers. He then signed with Arians' Cardinals in 2017 and opened five games for Arizona, compiling a 2-3 record.

In all, Gabbert has played in 60 games and made 48 starts. He has completed 851 of his 1,514 pass attempts for 9,206 yards, 50 touchdowns and 47 interceptions. In Arians' system he connected on 95 of 171 passes for 1,086 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions.

A St. Louis native, Gabbert played his college ball at Missouri.

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