Departure from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn’t last long for veteran backup quarterback Ryan Griffin.
The Bucs released Griffin, 31, on Tuesday as the team trimmed its roster down to the final 53-man crew. A day later, the Bucs signed him to the practice squad according to Buccaneers.com’s Scott Smith.
Griffin’s six seasons on the Bucs active roster ties him with former Bucs quarterback Trent Dilfer for the longest stretch with the team in franchise history per Smith. Undrafted out of Tulane, Griffin began his career with NFC South rival New Orleans in 2013 before joining the Bucs in 2015.
“I’ve just been here a really long time,” Griffin said in June per Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. “I’m fortunate to be here this long. I would love to be out there starting every game, but it is what it is. You play the cards that you’re dealt. I think before even winning the Super Bowl you could tell as soon as we signed Tom (Brady) everybody was like, ‘Alright, I have to be on top of my game because I don’t want to let Tom down.'”
Tampa has three quarterbacks on this season’s active roster — Brady, Blaine Gabbert, and Kyle Trask. Griffin gives the Bucs a fourth quarterback, and he could move up from the practice squad if needed.
The latest Bucs news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Bucs newsletter here!
No ‘Odd Man Out’ With Bruce Arians
Griffin’s tenure with Tampa looked in jeopardy all spring and summer with the Bucs drafting Trask and re-signing backup Blaine Gabbert. NFL teams seldom carry four quarterbacks on the active roster, but Bucs head coach Bruce Arians refused to call Griffin the “odd man out” in June per Florio.
“There are so many things that can happen between now and September 9 — nobody is out,” Arians said per Florio. “That’s for sure. Ryan, he comes out here and he’s as efficient as anybody we have. So no, I wouldn’t say that.”
Griffin’s stats didn’t impress in the preseason with 92 yards passing and two interceptions, playing with third and fourth-string players. Arians said Griffin “struggled” in the preseason opener against the Cincinnati Bengals in an Aug. 22 press conference.
“He was a little bit better this week,” Arians added, regarding the second preseason game against Tennessee. “He had a couple balls of fingertips. He can play a little better.”
Griffin didn’t play in the third preseason game against Houston.
Bucs Add 12 Other Players to Practice Squad
The Bucs signed the majority of its practice quad on Wednesday per Smith. That crew includes wide receivers Cyril Grayson and Travis Jonsen, tight ends Codey McElroy and Deon Yelder, tackles Brandon Walton and Jonathan Hubbard, defensive linemen Kobe Smith and Benning Potoa’e, and cornerback Herb Miller.
Tampa then added safety Andrew Adams, who originally left as a free agent to Philadelphia in the offseason, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. Adams played 43 games and made five interceptions in his first stint with the Bucs.
A couple former Kansas City Chiefs players joined the Bucs practice squad, too, according to Stroud. Running back Darwin Thompson and safety Troy Warner moved from the Super Bowl LV runner-up to the reigning world champions with the transaction.