Ryan Griffin won't have to look for a new NFL home in 2019.
On Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers re-signed Griffin to a new two-year deal, extending a relationship that began with a waiver claim in September of 2015. Though he has yet to take a snap in a regular-season game, Griffin has been on the Buccaneers' active roster for four consecutive seasons and has continually impressed in the preseason and in practice.
Griffin re-upped with Tampa Bay just before he was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the beginning of the new league year. The Buccaneers actually had two quarterbacks headed to free agency, Griffin and 15th-year veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, but General Manager Jason Licht mentioned at last week's Scouting Combine that the team would only attempt to re-sign one of them.
Griffin, who played his college ball at Tulane and began his career as an undrafted free agent with the Saints in 2013, split his first two years between the active roster and the practice squad in New Orleans. The Buccaneers claimed him in 2015 when he was waived by New Orleans during the final round of cuts. Since coming to Tampa, Griffin has been a game-day inactive for 46 of the subsequent regular-season contests. He has been active for 10 games but did not see action in any of them. Griffin also spent the first half of the 2017 on injured reserve due to a preseason shoulder injury, but he returned to the active roster for the last eight games and even signed a contract extension for the 2018 season.
Most recently, Griffin was active for the final two weeks of the 2018 season, replacing Fitzpatrick as the primary backup to starter Jameis Winston. That was the product of the previous coaching staff's belief that Griffin could excel if circumstances provided him with his first opportunity to play in the regular season. The Buccaneers have since installed a new coaching staff, led by Head Coach Bruce Arians, but Arians and company obviously see potential in Griffin as well, as evidenced by Tuesday's new deal. Arians has made it clear that the Bucs are committed to Winston in 2019 and expect big things from him, but Griffin will presumably compete to remain the primary backup.
Griffin's most recent playing time came during the 2018 preseason, during which he played in all four games and got the start for the fourth and final contest. He completed 51 of 75 passes (68.0%) for 518 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions, compiling a sparkling 105.3 passer rating.
With the re-signing of Griffin the Buccaneers currently have three quarterbacks under contract for the 2019 season. Winston is playing on the fifth year of his original rookie contract and the team signed former Packer Joe Callahan to a reserve/futures contract on January 3.