Dec 29, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub (8) passes against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

Breaking Down the Veteran Quarterback Options for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are certain to add another quarterback before the start of the 2014 season. No matter how you feel about Mike Glennon, the Bucs don’t have a backup quarterback on the roster worthy of being the emergency plan to the second-year NC State product.

Jordan Rodgers is signed to a futures contract for 2014, and Dan Orlovsky‘s contract will run out at the end of this current league year and be a free agent in 2014. That means the 13 games Mike Glennon has played in the NFL remain the only experience under center on the 2014 Buccaneers roster.

And while Glennon had a solid rookie season compared to recent first-year quarterbacks in the NFL, he shows signs of struggling moving forward. He was inconsistent during his rookie season, and showed a lot of hesitance in the pocket. These things may improve over time and with a new coach, but if they don’t, the Buccaneers need a viable second option to compete with Glennon.

So who are the Buccaneers options, and how do they compare to Glennon?

Michael Vick

As we’ve already discussed, Michael Vick is going to hit the open market this offseason, and there may be some interest from the Buccaneers. Vick would present more options in the running game than Mike Glennon, but his passing is inconsistent.

Vick also struggles to stay healthy. He would have a reliable backup in Glennon, but that would defeat the purpose of bringing in Vick to usurp Glennon.

But in the very short term, Vick would present an exciting option that has a track record that trumps what Mike Glennon can do. But that’s merely placing a bandage on a long-term problem, as Vick doesn’t have many “good years” left in the tank.

It’s also reasonable to question if he’s the type of quarterback Jeff Tedford likes. He is quick, which is something Tedford likes, but his decision-making and quick distribution ability is questionable.

Kirk Cousins

I am not sure what Kirk Cousins did to keep his reputation as a highly sought after backup, but his name still shows up any time quarterback-needy teams are discussed. Cousins was quite poor with the Redskins in 2013, only having a decent game against the historically bad Atlanta defense and otherwise struggling. People seem to remember him only for his clutch moments in late 2012, forgetting that he struggled in 2013 and was a fourth-round pick.

You only need to look as far as Matt Flynn to see why taking a chance on a quarterback over a game or two is foolish. Kirk Cousins does nothing better than Mike Glennon, and isn’t worth trading a valuable draft pick to acquire. Leave this kind of trade to the Browns or Raiders, and hope that the Buccaneers make smarter use of their draft choices.

Matt Cassel

With news that Cassel will void his 2014 contract and hit the free agent market surfacing, he has become a part of the discussion at the quarterback position this offseason. Cassel has a couple of serviceable seasons under his belt with the Patriots and Chiefs, and didn’t have an awful season last year with the Vikings in limited time.

In fact, other than age, there’s nothing Kirk Cousins brings to the table that can’t be trumped by what Cassel can do, and Cassel will be available with no trading involved. Cassel needs a strong running game, as he’s never succeeded without one. But the Buccaneers can and should have a strong rushing attack in 2014, which would suit him well.

Cassel’s main issue will be price. Giving up his current deal means he’s confident he’ll get similar money on the open market. The Buccaneers have other needs to address, and spending big on a quarterback puts added pressure on that player becoming the starter.

Matt Schaub

Matt Schaub was playing at an extremely high level for most of his career with the Houston Texans before the 2013 season led to a total collapse for the former UVA signal caller. However, if Schaub still has anything left in the tank, and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t, then he presents a very attractive option via trade.

He’ll be 33 this NFL season, so he’s not a long-term solution. But 3-4 years of above average play is possible from Schaub, who wouldn’t cost all that much via trade if the Texans are committed to taking a quarterback in the draft.

Schaub, like Cassel, seems to need a strong running game. If Jeff Tedford’s new system brings about a revival in the Tampa Bay running game, these quarterbacks become very appealing options.

What other quarterback options do you like this offseason? Let us know in the comments below.

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Tags: Kirk Cousins Matt Cassel Matt Schaub Michael Vick Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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