For How Many Millions Will Blaine Gabbert Squeeze The Bucs?

March 5th, 2022

Cash time.

The Bucs handed miserable Josh McCown $5 million to be their starting quarterback in 2014.

Back in 2009, rebuilding Tampa Bay paid journeyman, never-been quarterback Luke McCown $3.75 million to compete for a starting job with a bad Bucs team. Byron Leftwich ($2 million) won the job.

Since that time, the annual NFL salary cap has increased about 70 percent and high-end backup quarterbacks have earned near $10 million per season.

Joe shares all this because quarterback Blaine Gabbert, the potential heir apparent to Tom Brady, is a free agent coming off earning $2 million with the Bucs last season as a designated backup.

All this week at the NFL Scouting Combine, Bucs officials have been talking up Gabbert as if he’s already re-signed for 2022. But he’s not.

So Joe’s wondering how much leverage Gabbert may have. Obviously, Gabbert won’t have a shot to start anywhere else in the NFL (sad!), but he shouldn’t be hurting for money after earning well over $20 million through his 11-year career. He could try to wait out the Buc and squeeze them for a nice raise.

Marcus Mariota and Teddy Bridgewater made over $7 million as designated backups in recent years. Guys like Tyrod Taylor and Ryan Fitzpatrick have pulled in big checks as well. Heck, Jacoby Brissett earned $5 million last season in Miami.

Joe has no idea where Gabbert will land on the pay scale, but it sure would be a shame if the Bucs have to cough up an amount to Gabbert that leads to them losing a productive, in-house free agent.

68 Responses to “For How Many Millions Will Blaine Gabbert Squeeze The Bucs?”

  1. New England Patriots Fan Says:

    5million with bonus if he starts 12 games

  2. Marine Buc Says:

    The Bucs will probably keep his salary low – like @ $3M. Then they will add incentive based bonuses for games started, wins, completion %, TDs, yards, playoff wins, etc… worth about $6-$7M.

    If he starts all 17 games and plays well he will be fairly compensated.

    Incentive bonuses won’t be paid until 2023 so they won’t affect this years cap…

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    He’ll sign for a low salary with incentives…..he may not even win the starting job…..but he’s worth $3-4 mil to have on the roster…..experience in the system and with BA & BL & the players….
    Any backup would get at least that……

  4. Dano Says:

    All this Gabbett & Trask talk is depressing.

  5. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    If Arians does not shut up with his Love for Gabbert, it will cost us much more!

  6. Mike Johnson Says:

    Man..I sure hope Arians confidence in Gabert pans out for us. Sorry, but he’s just gonna have to show most of us Bucs fans that he is the man. I got him being a Yo Yo, up and down. But we shall see. Trask will certainly get his shot also. They will probably pay Gabbert 5 to 7 mil and offer him incentives.

  7. Adrnagy Says:

    $7m -12m. Same has fitz

  8. Letsbuccinggo Says:

    This guy will stink up the field anything over the minimum is too much. He stuck up the field in pre season.

  9. adam from ny Says:

    i say they flip the script at some point and let him blow in the wind for as long as they can…

    even letting him test the free agent market…

    and when no one wants him, the bucs swoop in with a check for 3-4 mil, a happy meal and a blow up doll

  10. HC Grover Says:

    Are we being eased in to Gabbert for the season?

  11. Demete Says:

    The Bucs are notorious for giving out misleading information. No organization in their right minds would talk up a free agent to artificially raise his value. He will be a backup again. It’s all a smokescreen.

  12. Defense Rules Says:

    Marine Buc & TBBF … Was thinking exactly the same thing: Low salary plus incentives for performing in the starting QB role. If he chooses to play hardball, just call Strike 3 and sign someone else. Plenty of backup QBs out there.

  13. ChiBuc Says:

    Which further puts into question, wtf is BA doing telling the world that Gabbert is a starter? The rest of the league doesn’t even want him as a 3rd string “coffee fetcher,” so why is BA driving up his price like he’s trade bait. BA’s nepotism and bs, is wearing thin.

    I read Ira’s article and couldn’t agree more that we need to know what Trask is capable of. As he put it, ‘so BA knows if he is the qb of the future,” but why is everyone ignoring the elephant in the room? BA is NOT the future. He is minutes from retirement and new regimes want their guys. This is why I agree with those who think we should get the cap right, trade down for picks, let old FAs walk toward the money, and let’s see if this coaching staff is as good as described on this site, because I am interested to know their organizational value before the reigns are handed over to BL or Todd.

  14. adam from ny Says:

    so essentially a raise, plus incentives for goals reached

  15. adam from ny Says:

    but the more i think about it, i just don’t see this guy being our quarterback…

    you don’t pencil this guy in as the heir apparent to lead a formerly led tom brady, super bowl winning, 13-4 team…

    it makes zero sense…

    in fact it might be one of the wildest replacement jobs at the quarterback positions in nfl history – when looking back in a few years…

    it has the potential ramifications to knock us back to the late 80s, early 90s culture in a single heart beat

  16. adam from ny Says:

    in fact it can wind up being a 30 for 30 story…

    “remember when the superbowl champion buccaneers replaced tom brady with blaine gabbert and the bucs instantly went from a 13-4 storied franchise to a 4-13 cellar dweller – overnight”

    it literally is a 30 for 30 waiting to happen

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    ChiBuc … I agree with you that ‘BA is NOT the future’ but he is the ‘now’. Which begs the question ‘Why?’ Why is he hanging on for another year, knowing full well that we’re not a SB-caliber team this year’?

    Gut feel is that his driving rationale is loyalty. I’ve been convinced from the start that he wants to turn over the reins to either Leftwich or Bowles (the latter being my preference). But he’s also loyal to the entire coaching staff; they’re his hand-picked people & many have been with him for years.

    But if he turned it over this year to BL or TB, and the Bucs have a bad year, his hand-picked successor may not see a Year 2. And with them goes the entire coaching staff more than likely. The other part of that is my belief since Day 1 also that BA will stick around with the Bucs as a President of Football Operations. In a way, that’s what he’s been operating as since 2019.

  18. SB Says:

    Trask will beat Gabbert out as starter, but having Gabbert on the roster will be valuable.

  19. Letsbuccinggo Says:

    Without Sean Payton the saints are nothing, as long as Matt Rhule is in Carolina they are nothing and the Falcons are always the same. So 9-8 will win this division so Gabbert will put us on the same playing with these three.

  20. T REX Says:

    The only reason Licht wasn’t fired…Brady.

    That’s it. He has one of the worst winning %’s in Bucs history without Brady.

    Licht is trash. Staff is trash.

    STart over.

  21. Pewter Power Says:

    Mark Dominic always overpaid and with all the losing we had to. Jason Licht doesn’t not overpay and when Gabbert will have to come in and compete since he won’t be named the starter he has zero leverage. He’ll be no better than trask

  22. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Let’s just bring in a real QB and end this Trask Gabbert talk already

  23. CrackerBall Says:

    I hope we are capable of fielding a better QB than Blaine Gabbert – or at least one with more promise. Kyle Trask should get a real look, and we should use our Draft selections, and F/A money, to surround him with the best options for his success.

  24. Steven007 Says:

    Let’s get real here, leadership talking up Gabbert is not driving up his price. Because there is no other market for his services. So that’s clearly not going to happen. He will sign with us where there is apparently a chance that he could start, or he will sign elsewhere to be nothing but a backup and even that is up in the air. So there aren’t other teams listening to the coach and GM and thinking “we need to sign Blaine Gabbert pronto!” That simply not happening. They are doing it to placate the media and probably Gabbert himself.

  25. Beeej Says:

    “T REX Says:
    March 5th, 2022 at 2:25 pm
    The only reason Licht wasn’t fired…Brady.

    That’s it. He has one of the worst winning %’s in Bucs history without Brady.

    Licht is trash. Staff is trash.

    STart over.”

    2014 draft
    Pick 1.7 – Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M (Yes)
    Pick 2.38 – Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington (Yes)
    Pick 3.69 – Charles Sims, RB, West Virginia (No)
    Pick 5.143 – Kadeem Edwards, OL, Tennessee State (No)
    Pick 5.149 – Kevin Pamphile, OL, Purdue (Yes)
    Pick 6.185 – Robert Herron, WR, Wyoming (No)

    2015 draft
    Pick 1.1 – Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State (Yes)
    Pick 2.34 – Donovan Smith, OL, Penn State (Yes)
    Pick 2.61 – Ali Marpet, OL, Hobart (Yes)
    Pick 4.124 – Kwon Alexander, LB, LSU (Yes)
    Pick 5.162 – Kenny Bell, WR, Nebraska (No)
    Pick 6.184 – Kaelin Clay, WR, Utah (No)
    Pick 7.231 – Joey Iosefa, FB, Hawaii (No)

    Pick 1.11 – Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida (Yes)
    Pick 2.39 – Noah Spence, EDGE, Eastern Kentucky (Yes)
    Pick 2.59 – Roberto Aguayo, K, Florida State (No)
    Pick 4.108 – Ryan Smith, CB, North Carolina Central (Yes)
    Pick 5.148 – Caleb Benenoch, OL, UCLA (Yes)
    Pick 6.183 – Devante Bond, LB, Oklahoma (Yes)
    Pick 6.197 – Dan Vitale, TE, Northwestern (Yes)

    Pick 1.19 – O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama (Yes)
    Pick 2.50 – Justin Evans, S, Texas A&M (Yes)
    Pick 3.84 – Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State (Yes)
    Pick 3.107 – Kendall Beckwith, LB, LSU (Yes)
    Pick 5.162 – Jeremy McNichols, RB, Boise State (Yes)
    Pick 7.223 – Steve Tu’ikolovatu, DL, USC (Yes)

    Pick 1.12 Vita Vea, DL, Washington (Yes)
    Pick 2.38 – Ronald Jones II, RB, USC (Yes)
    Pick 2.53 – M.J. Stewart, CB, North Carolina (Yes)
    Pick 2.63 – Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn (Yes)
    Pick 3.94 – Alex Cappa, OL, Humboldt State (Yes)
    Pick 4.117 – Jordan Whitehead, S, Pittsburgh (Yes)
    Pick 5.144 – Justin Watson, WR, Pennsylvania (Yes)
    Pick 6.202 – Jack Cichy, LB, Wisconsin (Yes)

    Pick 1.5 Devin White
    Pick 2.39 Sean Murphy-Bunting
    Pick 3.94 Jamel Dean
    Pick 3.99 Mike Edwards
    Pick 4.107 Anthony Nelson
    Pick 5.145 Matt Gay
    Pick 6.208 Scott Miller
    Pick 7.215 Terry Beckner Jr.

    1 Tristan Wirfs 13
    2 Antoine Winfield Jr.
    3 Ke’Shawn Vaughn
    5 Tyler Johnson 161
    6 Khalil Davis 194
    7 Chapelle Russell
    7 Raymond Calais

  26. Joe in Michigan Says:

    BA said at the Combine that Trask is behind “Door Number One”.

  27. Niles Says:

    “Dano Says:
    All this Gabbett & Trask talk is depressing.”

    Really? This week at the combine Arians said of Trask:

    “I’ve got a year with Kyle. Got to see Kyle every single day, watch him improve those nuances in the pocket, cause he ain’t afraid to stand in there. He can really sling it. He’s got all the throws.”

    So Trask “can really sling it” and “he’s got all the throws,” and you are depressed? Take off that Jamoist Winston FSU jersey, pal.

  28. Niles Says:

    “Tbbucs3 Says:
    Let’s just bring in a real QB and end this Trask Gabbert talk already.”

    Take off your Jamoist Winston FSU jersey. It’s affecting your brain. Adversely.

  29. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Way to bi#ch slap TRex with facts, Beej.

  30. Destinjohnny Says:

    Jason will prob give him 20 million…

  31. catcard202 Says:

    Screw it…I’m all for it…Sign Gabbert.

    Just make sure the FO comes out of Day1 with Jordan Davis!
    Good lord, did you just see that big man run…(4.82 @ 340+)

  32. Rod Munch Says:

    I’d give $0.

    As in I don’t want this loser on this team. It was bad enough when Brady was here, but then again if Brady got hurt, the season was over so having a min wage backup, whatever. But starting? LOL!

    I am not going to buy this nonsense about Gabbert getting the chance to start unless it actually happens, there is no way anyone could be that desperate.

  33. fern Says:

    You guys are killing come on Joe
    You really think he is going to be the starter

  34. HC Grover Says:

    The Bucco Bruce Magical Mystery Tour

  35. adam from ny Says:

    griff is like:

    “hey guys, what about me…i’ve been here 10 years”


  36. SPARKY Says:

    49ers hired Brian Griese as QB coach. Griese was Tom’s teammate in college. Tom was out to his folks by San Francisco at the same time. Think about it.

  37. phattitudes Says:

    We get it. You are not a fan of Gabbert. Enough is enough. Seems the quarterback tree is pretty bare. There are no good choices. There are no trade options that do not destroy the franchise for years to come. Any experience other than his experience as a Bucs back up does not matter. His knowledge of the offense gives him a giant leg up on all the other BAD choices. No other team is going to be knocking down his door to drive Gabbert’s price tag up. I doubt is there anyone looks at him as a starter for all the reasons you have stated day after day after day. The Bucs coaches know him. They know what he can and cannot do. He has thrown countless passes to our receivers. He knows them. He is our best shot. I trust Licht will come up with a fair price, The Bucs need to put their money into the 21 other starters Gabbert is not Brady. He is one of 22 starters. If he proves to be a total failure, Trask will get every opportunity to step upl. Neither has to be an all pro to with our division. They are going to need to win with defense. The Bucs used to do it. Ravens do it, Steelers do it. Why not us. 30 point plus games are a thing of the past. As Bucs fans we have seen it before. How about you puff Gabbert up a bit instead of ripping him every day with garbage postings. Right now it looks like he is the guy. Get off his back. It is a long way until opening day. Things may totally change by then and all this whining will be for nought. Go Bucs.

  38. DoooshLaRue Says:


  39. JimmyJack Says:

    Defense Rules totally agree. Bruces main concern right now is setting up Byron(or Todd the Godd) with a team thats ready to win and compete. Some fans talked about him retiring with Brady but that was probably very unlikely. No way I could see Bruce handing over a team with holes all over the roster, a ton of FAs, no money and no QB. I just couldnt see him doing that to his replacement.

    Next year we can get most of the tight CAP space behind us and if we can get key players back like Godwin and add a good QB I think Bruce might step down at let the next HC hit the ground running.

  40. Thomas Edrington Says:

    Blaine Gabbert as the starter = a return to the Den Of Depression

  41. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    There is no way I want to see Gabbert as the starter. We know what Gabbert can do, and it ain’t pretty. We have no idea what Trask can do, so let’s start him. It’s not like we signed him as a free agent.

  42. David Says:


    Just go away. LICHT is one of the best general managers in football. He built this roster through the draft and free agency that led to the greatest two years in buccaneer history and brought a Super Bowl.
    I suppose you’re one of the guys who think Bowles, and BL, and BA all suck too. Lol. The ignorance of some of this fan base is astounding.
    Let me guess, you have called for the firing of all the coordinators and head coach every 2 to 3 years since they won the Super Bowl under Gruden, right? You know, so there’s no stability at all and they can languish in perpetual ineptitude like your football knowledge.

  43. cleanhouse Says:

    leverage? Does anyone else even want our supposed starter as a backup?

  44. Letsbuccinggo Says:

    Dump Arians!

  45. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Defense Rules

    I agree with your loyalty take… That makes the most sense to me.

    Plus – BA has a built in excuse if this season is scuttled.

    Tom Brady left.

  46. Eric Says:

    Bruce can’t appear desperate or he will get ripped in negotiations. Are there any NFL head coaches declaring their quarterback room sucks?

    of course not. Strickly posturing and means nothing.

  47. Elita Vita Says:

    While we all are listening to this Blaine Gabbert talk the Bucs are getting us acclimatized to that level of QB. Then when they bring in a 2nd tier QB fans will feel it’s a victory!

  48. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    It is gonna be interesting to watch what Brady does next year.
    Some feel that he did not leave Football, he left Tampa!
    If that scenario is true, then WHY did he leave Tampa ?
    Was it because of Arians, or was it because he saw the writing on the wall with our upcoming schedule, and the certain loss of many key free agents ?
    After all, Brady is not playing to collect a paycheck, he is collecting Super Bowl Rings, so he wants to play for a contender.

  49. Chris K Says:

    Negative 3 million and you can sign me up as a great deal for the team!

  50. adam from ny Says:

    i heard brady did officially hand in his retirement paperwork…

    can anyone confirm…?

    he didn’t have to move that fast with it, but seems like he did

  51. adam from ny Says:

    tom gravy left coach BA like a overcooked dry turkey on ganksthiving…


  52. steele Says:

    Joe, you say you can’t understand BA’s fixation on Gabbert. Gabbert knows Bucco’s system, and that is enough. Add any ability for the boys to get along, and Gabbert is therefore a useful guy Bucco wants around. It doesn’t mean he’s a good QB. It doesn’t make up for Gabbert’s previous failures and mediocrity on the field. Bucco wants a reliable security blanket.

    He could be the starter, or a temporary starter, or the backup. Eventually guys like Gabbert wind up being groomed for assistant and coordinator jobs.
    Although nothing’s confirmed, his presence on the roster is likely.

    We keep waiting to see if there is a someone else that gets tossed into this picture. It all depends.

    Trask is the other likely, if for no other reason than they did invest a higher draft pick on him and they’ll see what he can do. Starter? Who knows. He can still be a trade chip or demoted.

  53. Thisisouryear!! Says:

    My gut is telling me BA is blowing Gabbert and Trask up as a smoke screen. I don’t know who they’d be after but my gut says they’ve got someone they want. A little over a week and we’ll know.

  54. Oddball Says:

    $15 an hour, plus benefits and 401k after one year.

  55. Adrnagy Says:

    BA will push to get him a 2-3 yr contract.

  56. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Thisisouryear, bailed it.

    Joe knows to believe nothing he head or sees this time of year. But he has to say something, right? I mean, I don’t envy him…Year after year of trying to publish meaningless news this time of year (not on him…it’s the season of lies).

    My take is that we won’t have Trask OR Gabbert starting on opening day…unless Track is a superstar and we fans don’t know it.

  57. John Mason Says:

    Oh boy….can’t believe the crash the Buc’s are gonna take…No way in hell do you turn the team over to Gabbert….Might as well get FitzMagic back hear for a year…get some wins and then go with Trask in 2023….what a crappy year coming up!

  58. Pewter Power Says:

    I knew all the fake Bucs bandwagon fans would flood the site and stick around post Brady for whatever reason. Didn’t realize Brady was gm, coach and quarterback, receiver, running back and safety.

    You jokers need to get a grip, stock up on meds, the combine isn’t even over yet. It’s a long way to week one stop pretending you know how to build a winner. Licht and BA are the ones who did it. If the roster was trash Brady would have never come

  59. Cchead Says:

    If Gabbert e ds up as qb1. Glazers should refund season ticket holders a percentage of the ticket price.

  60. Ed Says:

    Gabbert will empty the seats at Ray Jay. Unsellable to the fan base.

  61. Anonymous Says:

    I wouldn’t pay him much n if his demands are too much replace him with another free agent qb. I’m more concerned about loosing Jensen or Wirfs

  62. stpetebucsfan Says:

    First AGAIN…some facts. Gabbert was a losing QB with losing teams and a winning QB …2-1 with the Titans. The “reality” here is that there is not enough data in the can to make pronouncements about Gabbert.

    Here is a FACT. He wasn’t good enough to beat out Tom Brady! Do we hold that against him? He was good enough to beat out the rest for the “next guy up”. OK he’s the next guy up.

    Now here’s a radical thought in our capitalist world. As Joe pointed out Gabbert is already financially secure. Did Tom Brady maximize his salary every year he played or did he work with the Pats and Bucs to simply make sure he got his fair share?

    THIS IS BLAINE GABBERT’S career shot IF BA gives it to him. If Gabbert is a true competitor and an athlete who wants to win…again see TB…Gabbert will do whatever it takes to remain on the Buc’s talented roster in a system he’s TOTALLY familiar and comfortable. He and BA have a comfort level.

    IF BA and that’s the big IF for me…IF BA gives Gabbert the shot I’m going to think BA has seen a lot more football and QB’s than me and I’ll respect his decision!

  63. Rod Munch Says:

    Bruce Gradkowski 2006 > Blaine Gabbert 2022

  64. Beeej Says:

    I dont see how Trask could end up with serious playing time this year, he didn’t even get PRACTICE reps last year, other than a little bit of scout team action. That would bea huge leap

  65. Buczilla Says:

    If this dude is our starter for the entirety of this year I’ll become an expert fisherman while listening to games on the radio.

  66. THOMAS PFALZ Says:

    Gabbert 3-4 mil. plus incentives sounds about right. More depressing news bring back Ryan Griffin to compete for a couple a mil. To be quite honest I think Trask could be the best of the three.

  67. Stanglassman Says:

    Blaine’s agent is telling the Bucs that every time Gabbert plays the Bucs blow out the other team. When he plays the Bucs win period. So he should get top dollar.

  68. Ed Says:

    Is that headline a joke? Gabbert has no leverage over the Bucs, he has no resume that would even land him a job. He’s an emergency QB, that’s it.

    Any attempt for the Bucs to give him a starting role is giving up on the 2022-2023 season.