Buccaneers Predicted to Land Former Starting Playmaking Quarterback

Todd Bowles

Getty The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will look different in 2023.

With the big quarterback names starting to come off the market, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers still have work to do to solidify the position, even if the team plans to hand the offense over to Kyle Trask. Despite the continuous praise of Trask, the Bucs hinted that the team wants to create a quarterback competition which means Tampa Bay still needs to make another significant addition at the position.

Trask remains the only quarterback on the Buccaneers roster, but the franchise faces a challenge given the team is more than $57 million above the salary cap. Following the recent signings of Derek Carr and Geno Smith, CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin put together projections for quarterback-needy teams and has the Bucs signing Eagles free-agent Gardner Minshew.

The veteran has served as the Philadelphia backup behind Jalen Hurts over the last two seasons throwing for 1,102 yards, seven touchdowns and four interceptions while completing 62.5% of his passes in nine appearances. Minshew would offer the Buccaneers two key advantages: experience and a team-friendly salary. The quarterback has started 24 games during his four-year NFL career spending two seasons as the Jaguars QB1 prior to joining the Eagles.

During his first two years in Jacksonville, Minshew proved to be a threat with his legs. Minshew rushed for 344 yards during 14 appearances in his rookie seasons in 2019. The quarterback also has the ability to use his legs in order to create passing opportunities in the offense.

Despite a standout senior season at Washington State, Minshew dropped to the sixth round of the 2019 NFL draft. Minshew threw for 4,779 yards, 38 touchdowns and nine interceptions while completing 70.7% of his passes during his final collegiate season with the Cougars.

The Buccaneers Want to Create a Quarterback Competition With Kyle Trask

The Buccaneers are stopping short of promising the starting job to Trask, but the team is assuring the former Gators standout that he will have an “opportunity” to win the gig. Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht admitted that the Bucs want to create a quarterback competition between Trask and a signal-caller to be named later.

“You have to give everybody competition,” Licht said during his February 28 press conference at the NFL Combine. “He’s [Trask] the only quarterback on our roster right now. I’m just saying if he were the starter, or if he was the only option that we had right now, we’d be very, very excited about going forward with him. And he’s going to get the opportunity, no matter who we bring in, to be the starter.”

Tampa Bay Did Not Have an Interest in Pursuing QB Derek Carr

Tampa Bay had once been mentioned as a possible landing spot for Derek Carr, but the Buccaneers opted not to pursue the four-time Pro Bowl quarterback. It is unclear if this decision was based on the team’s limited financial resources, or if the Bucs did not view Carr as a suitable replacement for Tom Brady. Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported that the Bucs “never showed interest” in adding Carr once the quarterback became available.

“The Saints were ready to work out a deal. The Jets met with him twice, but wanted to slow-play it to keep their options open at quarterback,” Breer wrote on March 7. “The Panthers met with him, but that meeting was an exploratory first step and no offer was made. Another team that some thought would throw its hat in the ring, the Buccaneers, never showed interest. So Carr moved, and for good reason—next week, the market will be flooded with veteran options, and the prices could wind up coming down.”