The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced the team signed former Los Angeles Rams veteran quarterback John Wolford adding a third signal-caller to the roster. Despite plenty of rumors, the Bucs opted to pass on selecting a quarterback in the 2023 draft.
“The Bucs have added to their QB room, signing former Rams QB John Wolford,” NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted on May 9, 2023. “He joins Kyle Trask and Baker Mayfield in Tampa.”
The move comes after general manager Jason Licht has been open about the team’s desire to add another veteran quarterback ahead of training camp. Despite the addition of Wolford, the Bucs are expected to have a quarterback competition between Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask.
“Well, there were a couple quarterbacks that if it fell the right way we would take at different areas in the draft, not necessarily high,” Licht noted during a post-draft interview on Tampa’s WDAE radio. “Right now we like the competition that’s going on with Baker [Mayfield] and Kyle [Trask], couldn’t be happier with the way it’s going right now, just both of them getting ready to go into training camp.
“… But we do have a plan. We probably would like to bring in a vet. Just somebody that has been there done that and can be in that room with them, not necessarily somebody that we think is going to take over the competition. But somebody that can just add to that room. We’ve got a few options that we’re keeping in mind.”
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During his four seasons with the Rams, Wolford was relied on at different points as the team dealt with injuries at quarterback. Wolford started three games for Los Angeles last season throwing for 390 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions while completing 61.3% of his passes.
The quarterback was part of the Rams’ roster when the team went on a Super Bowl run during the 2021 season. The move also reunites Wolford with Mayfield as the two were teammates after the former No. 1 pick was claimed by the Rams in December 2022.
The Buccaneers quarterback room will look remarkably different when the 2023 season kicks off. Not only did Tom Brady retire, but longtime backup Blaine Gabbert signed with the Chiefs in free agency leaving Trask as the only Bucs quarterback returning.
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Tampa Bay’s quarterback picture beyond 2023 is murky as Mayfield only signed a one-year deal with the team. If Mayfield or Trask is unable to firmly establish themselves as the team’s starter, the Bucs could be looking for a more permanent solution in 2024.
The good news is that the 2024 class is slated to be a particularly strong group led by USC’s Caleb Williams and North Carolina’s Drake Maye. ESPN’s Todd McShay believes the Bucs could be a potential trade-up candidate if the team does not land the No. 1 pick.
“The Bucs are going into the 2023 season with Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask under center, but I don’t think either is the long-term plan — especially since Mayfield is on a cheap, one-year deal,” McShay wrote on May 4. “Mayfield was last in QBR in 2022 (24.6), and Trask, a second-rounder in 2021, has thrown nine passes in the NFL.”