Former Mizzou quarterback could be picked as Buccaneers’ replacement for Tom Brady

ESPN’s grades for players in the 2011 NFL Draft gave Mizzou quarterback Blaine Gabbert a 96 out of 100, which was tied for the fourth-best of any prospect.

Gabbert, who passed for more than 6,000 yards in two seasons with the Tigers, was the highest-rated quarterback in the draft, ahead of Cam Newton. The Jaguars snagged Gabbert with the 10th overall pick.

In four seasons with Jacksonville, Gabbert had a 5-22 record as a starter and threw more interceptions than touchdowns. He went to the 49ers for three seasons, then spent one season with the Cardinals and one with the Titans. He’s been with the Buccaneers the previous two seasons.

Gabbert, 32, won a Super Bowl ring while backing up Tom Brady in 2020 with Tampa Bay. While he’s thrown just 27 passes over the past two seasons, Gabbert could be the Buccaneers’ replacement for Brady, who retired last month.

Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians, who was with the Cardinals during Gabbert’s season in Arizona, explained why fans shouldn’t overlook the former Mizzou star.

“People may not like the overall record, but Blaine had eight head coaches and eight coordinators his first eight years,” Arians told Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “He beat Jacksonville their best year and beat Tennessee their big year for us in Arizona. And he’s been in the system now.

“I don’t have a problem there and let Kyle (Trask) continue to grow. Either one. (Gabbert) has never played with a team this good. He’s got all the respect in the locker room that he can have.”

The Buccaneers drafted Trask in the second round last year with the 64th overall pick, one spot after the Chiefs took center Creed Humphries.

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