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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Depth Chart Breakdown: Quarterbacks

A look at the Buccaneers' quarterbacks after free agency.

Pictures of the Buccaneers' quarterbacks.

The top of the depth chart at this position remains unchanged, obviously. The first player in NFL history to pass for over 4,000 yards in each of his first two seasons, Jameis Winston is rapidly turning into that "franchise quarterback" for whom the Bucs have long pined. Tampa Bay has steadily improved as a team during Winston's two years in town, to the point that they only missed the playoffs on a third-level tiebreaker last season. The Buccaneers fate for the foreseeable future is almost surely tied to that of Jameis Winston.

However, there has been a major change to the QB depth chart thanks to the expected departure of fifth-year veteran Mike Glennon. Glennon landed a big contract in Chicago to be the Bears' starting quarterback, an opportunity he certainly deserves. The Bucs would have gladly had him back as a very strong insurance policy behind Winston, but that was never likely to happen.

As such, third-year man Ryan Griffin bumps up to the #2 spot behind Winston, a possibility the Buccaneers have clearly been considered for several years. Ever since claiming Griffin off waivers from the Saints in September of 2015, the team has devoted a 53-man roster spot to keep him. Putting Griffin on the practice squad, where teams often keep their third quarterback, would have exposed him to the possibility of being poached by another team.

Of course, Griffin has yet to throw a regular-season pass in the NFL and is thus, by definition, untested. He's not a complete unknown quantity to the Buccaneers, who have been pleased with his work on the practice field the past two weeks. Still, the team has far less experience behind Winston than it did a couple months ago. The third quarterback is currently Sean Renfree, who has familiarity with Dirk Koetter's offense from his time in Atlanta but who has thrown only seven regular-season passes since entering the league in 2013.

Of note: Griffin is currently a restricted free agent (RFA) after getting a qualifying offer from the Buccaneers before the start of free agency. The vast majority of RFAs around the league re-sign with their original teams simply by signing their tender offers. Even if Griffin signs a deal with another team, the Buccaneers will have an opportunity to match. Given the lack of experience the Bucs suddenly have behind Winston, the team could still look to add to the position through the draft or what remains of free agency.


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