Being Tom Brady’s backup has never led to a whole lot of playing time in the NFL, although it has led to solid contracts elsewhere for multiple players.
But with Brady now 43 years old, Father Time could catch up to him eventually. The Buccaneers have a decent backup situation relative to a lot of the NFL, so if Brady were to be knocked out of action, Tampa Bay might still have a chance with its strong receiving corps.
Here’s what you need to know about Brady’s backup and the other options further down the depth chart for the Buccaneers.
Who is the Buccaneers’ backup quarterback?
The Buccaneers’ backup quarterback is Blaine Gabbert.
Gabbert was taken with the 10th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft out of Missouri by the Jaguars. He’s generally regarded as a draft bust, having gone 5-22 as a starter for Jacksonville. Since then, Gabbert has made starts for the 49ers, Cardinals and Titans before spending the past two seasons with the Tampa Bay organization.
The 6-4 Gabbert, now 31, isn’t as mobile as he once was although still presents a bit of threat with his legs. As a passer, he’s thrown 50 touchdowns in his NFL career compared to 47 interceptions, although that ratio improves a bit if you take out his Jacksonville numbers (22 TDs, 24 INTs) altogether and only account for the more veteran Gabbert.
Buccaneers QB depth chart
There’s no introduction needed here. Brady is the consensus G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time). He’s got six rings and has seemingly defied aging.
In 2020, Brady joined the Buccaneers, his first NFL time with a time other than the Patriots. The change didn’t seem to bother Brady, who threw a franchise-record 40 touchdowns. With Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski making up a star-studded group of pass-catchers, Brady is still dangerous for opposing defenses.
Gabbert made it into four regular season games for the Buccaneers in 2020, although he only saw extended action in one. That was in Week 16 against the Lions when Gabbert played the second half of a blowout for Brady. That day, Gabbert completed 9-of-15 passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns without being picked off. He also ran twice for 15 yards.
Griffin has been in the NFL since 2013 after going undrafted out of Tulane, but he’s only appeared in two games, both in 2019 for the Buccaneers while Gabbert was hurt and Jameis Winston was the Tampa Bay starter.
He’s completed two of his four NFL passes for 18 yards. Griffin threw 20 touchdowns as a senior at Tulane in 2012.
Stanton spent most of the 2020 season as a free agent, but he signed with the Buccaneers’ practice squad on Dec. 24. He was a second-round pick by the Lions back in 2008 out of Michigan State, and he’s 11-6 in 17 NFL starts with 20 touchdowns thrown and 24 interceptions.
The last NFL action for Stanton came in 2017 for the Cardinals, when he won three of four starts. He’s got a career completion percentage of just 52.4 percent in the NFL.