The Buccaneers are adding an eight-year veteran to their group of quarterbacks by officially signing Blaine Gabbert to a one-year deal on Wednesday. Gabbert spent the 2018 season as a depth man behind quarterback Marcus Mariota in Tennessee. He started three games, playing in a total of eight contests while with the Titans, completing 61 of 101 passes for 626 yards and four touchdowns in that span. He’ll now vie for the backup spot in Tampa Bay behind the only other player taken in front of Mariota in the 2015 NFL draft, Jameis Winston.
Gabbert comes to Tampa Bay already familiar with new Head Coach Bruce Arians, playing for him in Arians’ last year with the Arizona Cardinals in 2017. He learned Arians’ offense alongside quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton before both went down with injury. Gabbert started all five games he played in Arizona, finishing with 1,086 passing yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions.
He’ll reunite not only with Arians, but Assistant Head Coach and Run Game Coordinator Harold Goodwin, who was the Cardinals’ offensive coordinator in 2017, along with Bucs’ Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich, who was Gabbert’s quarterbacks coach then.
Before Arizona, stops for Gabbert included three seasons in San Francisco and another three seasons in Jacksonville before that.
The former Mizzou standout was drafted 10th overall in the 2011 NFL Draft to the Jaguars. He started 27 of 28 games in Jacksonville, throwing for 4,357 yards with 22 touchdowns and a 53.3 completion percentage during his first three years in the league.
Gabbert was traded to the 49ers from the Jaguars in 2014 for a sixth-round pick in the draft. In three seasons, the 6-foot-4 passer started 13 of 15 games for the 49ers, throwing for 2,994 yards with 16 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, giving him an improved 60.6 completion percentage during that time.
Gabbert becomes the fourth quarterback on the Buccaneers’ roster, joining fifth-year man Jameis Winston, Ryan Griffin and Joe Callahan as Tampa Bay heads into its offseason program. He’ll add a veteran presence to the Bucs’ quarterbacking corps, not only bringing league experience, but a familiarity within the new offense Arians and his staff will be installing in Tampa Bay this upcoming season.