Is Ryan Griffin set in stone as the Buccaneers’ backup?

Jul 30, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Griffin (4) works out at One Buccaneer Place. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 30, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Griffin (4) works out at One Buccaneer Place. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The NFL draft has come and gone, which means a long summer is ahead. There’s a lot of time before training camp gets underway. However, there’s still some unanswered questions about the Buccaneers’ roster. For one, are the Buccaneers set with Ryan Griffin as their backup quarterback?

Back in March, the Buccaneers offered Mike Glennon a sizable deal to stay in Tampa as the backup quarterback. Of course, he turned it down and signed with the Chicago Bears. That left Ryan Griffin as the only guy on the roster to back up Jameis Winston. With the team picking up a couple of undrafted free agents combined with the possible quarterback options still on the market, is Griffin still set to be the number two behind Winston?

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The team is reportedly pretty high on Griffin, so he may very well be the guy. But over the weekend, they signed undrafted free agent Sefo Liufau out of Colorado and invited Tufts’ Alex Snyder to rookie mini camp. The Pewter Plank’s David Harrison sees Liufau as someone that could challenge Griffin for the backup spot. In four years at Colorado, Liufau completed 62.8 percent of his passes for 9,746 yards and 60 touchdowns. It’ll be worth monitoring his performance in rookie mini camp this weekend, as well as training camp this summer (as long as he sticks around).

Liufau is an option, but there are still some free agent quarterbacks that Tampa Bay could potentially bring in. Christian Ponder, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Austin Davis and Blaine Gabbert are all viable options. Sure, none of those guys are top talents, but they all have significant experience in the NFL. There hasn’t been any big-time success for any of them, but if the Bucs want some more experience in the backup role, those guys are still out there.

However, even with more options out there, the Bucs may be happy with Griffin as their backup quarterback. In the 2016 preseason, he completed 58 percent of his passes for 429 yards, a touchdown and four interceptions. The game in which he saw the most action was week four of the preseason, when he completed 23 of 38 passes for 190 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

All of this is obviously an insurance policy in the case of Winston missing time (knocking on wood). Last year, we saw a prime example of what can happen when your starting quarterback goes down. The Raiders may have been favorites to make the AFC Championship Game, but Derek Carr went down in week 16. Oakland then lost its second-string quarterback in week 17, making a debuting Connor Cook the starter for a round one playoff game. He ultimately failed to get the job done, costing the Raiders their season. Seeing the first two signal-callers on the depth chart go down was an extreme case. But even if Carr was the only injury, would the Raiders have gone any further with Matt McGloin under center? The point is, the backup quarterback position is as important as ever.

Maybe Griffin is the guy for Tampa Bay. If he is, the front office and coaching staff must be confident in his ability to step up and lead the team if needed. He’ll be a good player to watch when training camp gets going later this summer, that’s for sure.

Next: Talking Buccaneers: Thoughts and analysis following the draft

What do you think, Bucs fans? Do you think Griffin is the best option to back up Jameis Winston?