The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed former University of Albany quarterback Vincent Testaverde, son of the franchise's all-time leader in passing yards. To make room for Testaverde on the 90-man training camp roster, the Buccaneers waived tight end Troy Niklas with an injury designation.
The younger Testaverde grew up in the Bay area because his father, Vinny Testaverde, put down roots there after playing for the Buccaneers from 1987-1992. He played his prep football at Jesuit High School, which is located less than a mile from the AdventHealth Training Center. Testaverde is already familiar with the Buccaneers' headquarters, having participated in the team's rookie mini-camp in May on a tryout contract.
After high school, Testaverde first attended Texas Tech, where he played in one game as a true freshman. He then transferred to the University of Miami and then later Albany, where he started eight games last fall after sitting out one season. Testaverde threw for 1,714 yards and 11 touchdowns in those eight contests, completing 53.4% of his passes.
The Buccaneers intended to split reps between four quarterbacks in training camp but undrafted rookie Nick Fitzgerald was placed on the active/non-football injury list due to a hamstring injury and has not yet practiced. Testaverde joins a group that also includes Jameis Winston, Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Griffin.
The elder Testaverde was the first-overall pick in the 1987 NFL Draft out of the University of Miami, where he won the Heisman Trophy. Over six seasons as a Buccaneer, he played in 76 games with 72 starts and completed 1,126 of 2,160 passes (52.1%) for 14,820 yards, 77 touchdowns and 112 interceptions. That yardage total remains atop the Bucs' career list, though Winston (14,628 yards) is likely to overtake it early in the upcoming season. Testaverde played another 15 seasons for five different teams after leaving the Buccaneers, eventually throwing for more than 46,000 yards.
Niklas, who had previously played for Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians in Arizona, was added to the roster just before the start of camp. However, he sustained a leg injury in the first practice of camp and did not return to the field on subsequent days. After his waiver, the Buccaneers still have five tight ends on the 90-man roster: O.J. Howard, Cam Brate, Antony Auclair, Donnie Ernsberger and Tanner Hudson.