NFC South QB Situation Gets Clearer

March 14th, 2023

The newest NFC South QB.

Another quarterback signing is in the books for the NFC South, the only NFL division — again — without a coach who has won a playoff game.

In addition to the rough coaching records, the NFC South doesn’t have a quarterback in it with a winning record. That includes the Falcons agreeing to sign Taylor Heinicke today in free agency.

Heinicke is 12-12-1 as a regular season starter with Washington, plus one playoff loss to the Buccaneers. He’ll compete with second-year Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder (2-2) for the starting job.

The Saints have Derek Carr (losing record & no playoff wins) and backup Jameis Winston (34-46).

The Panthers will be drafting their opening day starter with the No. 1 overall pick in April. Second-year QB Matt Corral also on the roster but he has yet to play in the regular season.

The Bucs have Kyle Trask and are dreaming of Baker Mayfield.

The division’s quarterback mess prompts Joe to remember when the Bucs signed washed out Josh McCown to be their starter to go toe-to-toe with NFC South quarterbacks Matt Ryan, Drew Brees and Cam Newton in their primes. The division had accomplished head coaches back then, too.

Whatever quarterback earns the Bucs’ starting job, the Bucs should be/need to be at last competitive in their division. If they can’t do that, then Joe’s going to have to break out the high-powered microscope on the coaching and more.

68 Responses to “NFC South QB Situation Gets Clearer”

  1. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    One can only wonder who the Panthhers will take at number 1 ?
    Will it be Robinson or CJ Stroud ?

  2. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Oncce can only wonder WHO the Panthes will pick at number one

  3. Bojim Says:

    Mayfield’s waiting on all the bidding to end.

  4. Dan Says:

    At this point there is no one that Tampa can bring in that will please the fanbase. Starting Trask makes the most sense to me only because he’s still an unknown at this point. Bringing in Brisset, Mayfield, etc… pretty much guarantees a mediocre season.

  5. Guzzie Says:

    Drafting Will Levis if he falls (AR15 isn’t falling) is the only thing that could possibly energize this fan base, but the most likely outcome is Trask or retread unsuccessful QB and starting over next year with a new staff n hopefully within range to draft a QB high

  6. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Mayfield is a retread whose career passer rating is worse than Jameis Winston and he has never thrown for 4000 yards. Had the Rams believed Mayfield was worthy , they would have signed him.Find a QB in 5th or 6th round-there are very serviceable guys selected in those rounds every year-Stetson Bennet comes to mind and he is a proven winner. Mayfield is unwilling to take the hits that will be necessary to win with this Oline.

  7. Letsbucinggo Says:

    Baker Mayfield 31-38 career 8-16 last two years I guess your right the Bucs dreaming about this guy please it looks more like a bad nightmare to me. And you actually believe we will be competitive LMAO.

  8. gbobucsfan Says:

    Heinicke plays with a big heart but just doesn’t have the arm strength and accuracy. Happy that he got paid but glad it wasn’t by TB.

  9. Oxycondoms Says:

    Rodgers not with jets yet may be whats holding things up

  10. mark2001 Says:

    I think if Mayfield comes in here, it will be with the idea that he has a 60/40 chance of being the starter. Trask will have to beat him out. And that is a good thing.

  11. SufferingSince76 Says:

    According to BA, we already had a starting QB in Blaine Gabbert. Why not re-sign him? 😆

  12. Buddhaboy19 Says:

    Wish we would have signed him, he was money and tough as nails the 2 times we played him, and he almost beat us in the playoffs the year we won the Super Bowl. Kid has some upside, not easy playing in a Ron Rivera offense, ground n pound crap fest.

  13. mark2001 Says:

    Rodgers is loving every minute, while Jets and Packer fans squirm… Jets because they want a talented QB to lead them to the promised land, and the Packers because they wrote a horrible contract last year and are hoping to get out from underneath it to have some breathing space in the next few years. Only a sadistic narcissist would put the teams and the fans of both teams through so much torment. But sadistic narcissists actually find it pleasurable. It is only about them.

  14. ModHairKen Says:

    Some of you act like there are a lot of options here. The cap is a problem. Signing a former Heisman and No. 1 pick is not the worst thing. If you look at Mayfield’s record, it got much worse over the last two years, because the team sucked around him. The head coaches were a line of losers. Is he the answer? Probably not. But at this moment, who is affordable and a better option? Drew Lock? Give me a break.

  15. Reality_Check Says:

    And we’re just sitting here with the incapable Kyle Trask. Last place guaranteed unless we get someone else

  16. Andrew Fish Says:

    we need to stick with Gabbert some of these back up QBs are signing for way more then the Bucs need to be spending. Unless the QB is a solid starter that can win some games stay cheap. we already pushed 44 million to the future and this is not a Superbowl team.

  17. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I’d take Brissett and build the defense up. A strong defense needs to be the Bucs new identity.

  18. Infomeplease Says:

    TampaBayBucsFan, the Ram’s have a superbowl winning qb already, Matthew Stafford. BM isn’t going to sign to be a backup! He’ll sign to start somewhere!!

  19. Tucker Says:

    Trask will be given the opportunity to compete no matter who they bring in if he doesn’t win then he just isnt good enough and because Geno just happen it’s all unknown not only with Trask but with anyone. I personally would like Trask to earn the starting spot not just be given it if he wins cool if he doesn’t then everyone knows he isn’t good enough.

  20. Statistically Insignificant Reader Says:

    Sail the ship straight to get clear of the mess this year. Covet thy own players if makes since. Bring in no HIGH PRICED RETREADS as in the past. Pay off the Superbowl, save some money, continue working on the cap, balance the Bucs check book. Defensive draft. Be prepared for the 24 sweepstakes and better opportunities to come. GO BUCS

  21. MP Says:

    Hey, what do you guys think of Stetson Bennett out of UGA? He’s a proven winner, getting no hype, I’m getting possible Russell Wilson vibes as an overlooked talent that can be had in probably the 5th round.

  22. Allbuccedup Says:

    Houston signed Case Kennum if they are going to draft a quarterback lets trade for Davis Mills hes accustom to losing and has got plenty of experience at it. He should fit right in with the Bowles system.

  23. Easy The Great Says:

    What QB wants to play for Todd Bowles?

  24. SB~LV Says:

    Bottom of the barrel

  25. Jabuc Says:

    The Bucs have to bring in at least 2 more QBs you can’t go into a season with 2 QBs so it’s going to be either 2 vets or 1 vet and drafted QB. This isn’t video game football folks.

  26. Buc4evr Says:

    The NFC South looks pretty bad from a QB perspective, so bringing Gabbert back or even signing Dalton may be a good move. I am guessing both Brissett and Mayfield will be looking for more money than the Bucs can afford for a short term fix? Neither of these guys is a franchise QB and sad to say neither is even close to Jameis. Ugh.

  27. gbobucsfan Says:

    Mason is gone to Houston.

  28. ScottyMack Says:

    Just throwing a couple “what ifs” out there …

    What if Baker Mayfield is really far better than the crappy organizations with no receivers (the past 2 years) than his stats indicate?

    What if our new OC, Dave Canales, really IS a QB whisperer and what he did with Geno Smith can be done with Mayfield?

    Given those “what ifs”, is there a single veteran QB the Bucs could afford out there that has more upside than Baker Mayfield?

  29. geno711 Says:

    Baker too close to Jameis for my comparison.

    Jameis in 80 starts:
    8 4th quarter comebacks
    87.7 passer rating.
    193 sacks
    96 Ints.
    55 fumbles.

    Baker in 69 starts:
    6 4th quarter comebacks
    86.5 passer rating
    170 sacks
    64 ints.
    36 fumbles

    Brady in his three seasons with Bucs had 50 starts:
    10 4th quarter comebacks
    98.8 passer rating
    65 sacks
    33 Ints
    13 fumbles

  30. NEfan Says:

    Bucs4@ how does the south look bad? Carr is a good top 10-12 Qb, Heinike beat you and almost did in his first game in to PO game. 1st rounder in Carolina is the ??? Bucs may end up the worst by far.

  31. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Once again it is my privilege to remind the hanger-onners that Jameis Winston will not be coming back to the Bucs this fall.

  32. Marine Buc Says:

    Shaq Mason and a 7th round pick traded to the Texans for a 6th round pick.

    Bucs will save @ $5M much needed dollars.

  33. Bucnjim Says:

    I’d like to see what Mayfield can do with a couple of excellent receivers. He’s a scrappy dude. I’ve seen some mistakes of his that remind me of Winston, but he’ll be trying everything to revive his career so you never know.

  34. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    The silence is deafening. I think Mayfield is either resigning with the Lambs or coming here.

  35. Craig Says:

    While the front office dreams about Mayfield, the fans have nightmares about him.

    There is a reason he is still sitting on the sidelines, lack of consistency. He flashes big and the settles into mediocrity.

  36. Crickett Baker Says:

    I am all for Gabbert coming back and giving Kyle a chance. This year it doesn’t seem right to look for a future QB. We have so many things to do to attempt to build a future team. Let’s wait for a great QB for another year.

  37. Onetrickponyne Says:

    Tampa Bay Bucs Fan 1976.
    I think Stetson Bennett,short but accurate would beat Trask out. Okay now I’m in the dog house

  38. Beej Says:

    You NEED 3 QB’s, we currently have ONE

  39. Buc50 Says:

    Hopefully he resigns with the Rams. I’m hoping we either draft a QB or roll with Trask and look to draft a QB next year if possible. I’m ok with being terrible this year instead of being mediocre. 7-10 or 8-9 is not a great place to be.

  40. Mike Johnson Says:

    So now we are down to Mayfield, Brissett, and Locke. Heinicke signed with them Falcons. For some reason, we are not going after Brissett. Maybe Hes asking for too much. Its probably gonna be Mayfield and Locke. Thus, sealing our Doom. Get you head paper bags ready. BUC LIFE? We comin back home.

  41. Letsbucinggo Says:

    Get ready people Bradys gone and the real Jason Licht is back. Between him and his cronies T Bowles etc. will take us back to the bottom of the division. Pre-Brady Post-Brady that is buccaneer reality. Its a Bucs life.

  42. Dooley Says:


    Exactly, and none of this handing the keys to the franchise to a QB without having competition to push the entire QB rooms collective level of play.

  43. Trask To The Future Says:

    Bucs front office knows we’re not making a Super Bowl run this year (barring a miracle). We just don’t have the personnel or cap situation to make a run right now.

    Singing Mayfield to big money does us no good. The odds are very much against us making a deep run no matter how well he were to play.

    I think they’re committed to handing the ball to Trask to see what he can during this transitional year.

  44. Nayrb Says:

    It is beginning to look like our chances of landing a “big name” QB will not come before the preseason, but rather afterwards when teams need to trim their rosters in the final cutdown in preparation for the regular season.

    On the bright side of all this, Kyle Trask will likely get almost all of the snaps in the preseason and even if the Bucs scoop up a veteran just before the regular season, it will likely be Trask’s starting job to lose.

  45. FlBoy84 Says:

    Highest we finish is 3rd, more likely 4th. Bowles would serve this team best by not being a part of it, but since he is currently, coaching from the press box is the next best option. Anything to keep his dead-ass energy away from the players. Only prayer we have this year is if Canales’ energy can help offset Bowles’.

  46. mark2001 Says:

    Bennett has leadership abilities. But he is older. And NFL level talent? Unfortunately for him, not likely.

  47. bucsfaninOregon Says:

    Jimmy G. to be signed by the Raiders and Sam Darnold to the 49rs. Teams are signing up the QBs. Time for the Bucs to get going- -whatever they want to do just do it.

  48. lambchop Says:

    In Heineke’s defense, WTF was playing musical chairs with him. I mean our vaunted defense wasn’t locking him up–or any rookie QB for that matter. If we don’t draft OL/DL, OLB we’re going to see deja vu all over again in those creamsicles.

  49. Greg Says:

    Aggravating because I already see what’s going to happen. Bucs are overbidding for mediocrity. Mayfield has issues. Browns didn’t want him, Carolina didn’t want him, Rams didn’t want him. Now were in a bidding war? You think if they go through all of this to bring in Mayfield Trask will have a real chance? Instead of paying Mayfield we could go after Orlando Brown who is a very good LT and give Trask a chance. If hes not the guy at least we have protection for our next QB. Mayfield is not the future!

  50. HC Grover Says:

    Here comes da Yucs.

  51. Rand Says:

    Gardner Minshew and Cooper Rush

  52. Joe Swanson Says:

    Why don’t the Bucs stop kidding themselves and just trade Kyle Trask its become apparent they don’t view as a starter. Sign Brissett and Lock trade Trask to the Eagles they need a backup you be able to get at least a 7th rounder. Not bad for a 2nd round pick.

  53. John Says:


  54. Allbuccedup Says:

    If the Bucs are going to continue to shove money down the road lets go for the gusto call Lamar Jackson offer him 3 year at 145 mil 5 mil this year 70 mil next year and 70 mil the last year.

  55. Rand Says:

    Yeah let’s spend all that money on Lamar Jackson who has a career 63.7% passing percentage and is considered one of the worst deep ball passers and ranked at the bottom for explosive plays and accuracy. Especially now that we apparently will be running the ball more bringing the defense closer to the line of scrimmage which should give way to more deep passes. Of course that’s in theory, so by all means bring in a scatter-armed overpaid QB.

  56. Rand Says:

    If they go out and pay all that money for a QB and he can’t carry the team Bowles and maybe Licht will certainly be fired before the ’24 season. Better to stick to the plan and bring in a couple of capable QB’s that compete with Trask fairly and not have a huge financial advantage for the start.

  57. NEfan Says:

    Darren Waller just went to the Giants after paying Jones $40M, not sure didn’t the Bucs need a TE? Sorry but I don’t get the whole Dean signing. Could have had Jones from NE for less.

  58. brooks Says:


  59. Johnny De & the Buccaneers Says:

    Sign Cooper Rush and bring in Drew Lock to help install offense. Let Trask and Rush compete for QB1.

  60. Nayrb Says:

    Something that occurred to me since my last post, is that we should also consider the possibility that the Bucs are spreading rumors about being in the hunt for B-grade QBs with the intention of hopefully convincing other teams that they are going to miss out on the opportunity to sign a veteran QB and to eliminate the chance of one of their competitors from signing said QB.

    All the while, the Bucs have no intention of signing one of them, but rather growing through the draft. I didn’t think of it before, but it might be true.

  61. Rod Munch Says:

    This piece of trash Heinicke is now going to beat the Bucs twice a year for the next several years, you just know that is going to happen. That’s probably why the Falcons signed him, just for that reason, it guarantees them two victories a year.

  62. Rod Munch Says:

    NEfan Says:
    March 14th, 2023 at 3:44 pm
    Darren Waller just went to the Giants after paying Jones $40M, not sure didn’t the Bucs need a TE?


    The Bucs need a QB. TE is way way way down the list. They got a 3rd rounder who played pretty well by rookie standards, and you got holes all over the field. Getting a very expensive injury prone TE isn’t really near the top, or middle, of the to-do list.

  63. Dooley Says:


    Tommy Chong level of smoke, and Funhouse level of mirrors

  64. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    There are only two QBs who I would want us to take in the first round and they are both out of reach for us. We would have to mortgage our future to even find out if one of them would pan out. They are C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young. I still have the scars from the slow burn I got from watching Jameis Winston flash potential for five long years. He was the “almost sure thing” when he was drafted.

    Now if Hendon Hooker fell to us in the second round I would be very happy if we gambled on him. We are truly in a retool/partial rebuild after all. I would love for us to have two low cost veterans and two youngsters with high potential competing for the QB pecking order this season.

  65. steele Says:

    NFC South will remain a weak division, but Bucs will be weaker too.

    No clear direction so far. Break the bank for Dean (too much), dump Shaq (okay, some low round picks, peanuts basically), lose Nacho, bring back Gage (why?).

    What is the Canales offense going to be, we don’t know. We don’t know what kind of QB belongs in Mr. Excitement’s system?

  66. BucaneroJim Says:

    Yep Dooley… smoke and mirrors. Jameis resigned with NO, so no more ‘noles talk about that. Maybe Tebow can be signed to compete with Trask? Think I’ll light one up, put my feet in a basin of water, stare into my cat’s eyes – all of this in front of a tall mirror. Bus’s hell or heaven, who knows what the future brings.

  67. ScottyO Says:

    Its Todd Bowels. Expect a lot of FG attempts and 3 point losses, couple major blowouts and a complete reboot next year. If we were serious about contending for the South we wouldve signed Heinicke.

  68. brooks Says:

    Well be exciting maybe we can bring on TO amd Moss fill the stands!!