The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have decided on their quarterback–for now.
Free agent QB Josh McCown was the best man in a watered-down free agent class at his position. Even with the market being less-than-impressive, that didn’t stop the Bucs from picking up McCown and crowning him as their starting quarterback.
Somewhere, Mike Glennon is pretty ticked off.
But what if I told you the Buccaneers were actually planning on adding another QB to the mix?
The impressive Teddy Bridgewater?
The prototypical and local QB Blake Bortles?
The polarizing playmaker, Johnny Manziel?
Maybe someone else a little bit later on in the draft?
Mike Glennon would be absolutely furious.
Allow me to explain: While I do believe that Lovie Smith was genuine when he said that Josh McCown is his quarterback, he also never said that he wouldn’t try to provide as much competition as possible. With the seventh overall pick in this year’s draft, chances are someone they really like could fall to them. If not, there’s a second tier of guys like Derek Carr, AJ McCarron, Jimmy Garappolo or Zach Mettenberger that could be had in the second round or later.
While there is reason to have some confidence in Josh McCown at the moment, there is also some risk to signing the veteran to a deal. McCown is 34 years old, struggled mightily for 90% of his career, then somehow found the magic in 2013 while filling in for Jay Cutler. In limited action, he threw for over 1,800 yards and 13 TDs, with only one interception.
Getting too comfortable with a quarterback who may have had one fluke of a successful season, abandoning Mike Glennon after some flashes of brilliance last year, and then neglecting look towards the future of the position would be an incredible mistake by the Bucs.
And for the time being, it doesn’t seem like it’s a mistake the Buccaneers want to make.
Tampa Bay has held multiple meetings with former top QB prospects like Manziel and Bortles, and GM Jason Licht has been quoted as saying that he believes there are franchise quarterbacks in this draft, and they might even be some of the ones that we’re thinking of.
You may remember that Licht had a stint in the New England Patriots front office, and during his tenure, they took a chance on a scrawny, unheralded quarterback out of Michigan in the sixth round. Who? None other than future NFL Hall of Famer, Tom Brady.
So even if quarterback isn’t the number one issue on Jason Licht’s mind, that doesn’t mean that the position won’t be addressed. He knows that McCown isn’t a long-term answer, and has been doing his homework on this year’s quarterback draft class to make sure that Tampa Bay gets their future starter this year.