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Buccaneers in play to select developmental quarterback in the 2019 NFL Draft

With no backups currently on the roster and Jameis Winston under contract for just one season, the Buccaneers are in play to Draft a quarterback come April.

From the minute head coach Bruce Arians was hired, it was clear who the starting quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would be.

Arians raved about Jameis Winston during his introductory press conference and in interviews after the hire.

Thankfully, the debate that swirled around the Bucs’ quarterback situation will halt, at least for one season. The Ryan Fitzpatrick-Winston debate that defined the 2018 campaign will be no more.

Although Arians has announced Winston as the team’s starter next season, the Bucs are in need of backup quarterbacks. Currently, Winston is the only field general on the roster with Fitzpatrick and Ryan Griffin entering free agency.

This leaves Tampa Bay in position to Draft a developmental quarterback in the 2019 NFL Draft.

The 2019 season will be Winston’s final rehearsal. He needs to show the coaching staff and front office that he is worthy of a long-term extension. If not, Tampa Bay could be back in the quarterback market.

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Adding Fitzpatrick back into the mix would only cause more controversy if Winston has a lousy start. The back-and-forth at quarterback put more pressure on whoever was starting at the time. Going down the path again is a disaster waiting to happen.

Fitzpatrick has starting experience, but it might be best not to have him breathing down Winston’s neck for another season.

There isn’t much of a case for bringing Griffin back either. The 29-year-old was a favorite of former head coach Dirk Koetter, but Griffin doesn’t have any ties to Arians’ new staff. He won’t have a great understanding of the new offense and Griffin has no experience on the field.

Aside from being a cheap option as a third-string quarterback, Griffin would continue to spend Sunday’s inactive if he returns.

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With potentially two roster spots open at the quarterback position, the Draft could be a way to find Winston not only a backup but a developmental project in the long run.

Now, it’s unreasonable to think Tampa Bay will invest an early selection in a quarterback with Winston on the roster, but it could make sense to take a quarterback in the middle of the Draft.

However, at the end of Day 2 or on Day 3, there are plenty of intriguing options available. Take Washington State’s Gardner Minshew for example. He performed exceptionally well in Mike Leach‘s offense, putting up gaudy stat lines including 4,776  and 38 touchdowns last season.

Other names that could be in play are Ole Miss’ Jordan Ta’amu or Buffalo’s Tyree Jackson. Both have high ceilings, and if they can improve their accuracy, they could find themselves starting in the NFL one day.

Look what Dallas did with Dak Prescott. Tony Romo was at the tail-end of his time with the Cowboys, and the organization was prepared when he went down with an injury, selecting Dak Prescott in the fourth round.

Next: Complete list of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers free agents

Of course, situations like that rarely work out as well as it did in Dallas, but the Bucs would be remiss to not prepare for a Winston-less future.

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