TAMPA, Fla. -- With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers likely using the first overall draft pick on Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota, they have a shot at something they have never had before -- a franchise quarterback.
As the Bucs get ready for their 40th season in the NFL, all you have to do is think for a minute about this team’s history at quarterback. It has been filled with instability. The Bucs never have had a quarterback for the long term.
One stat from Elias sums it up. Since 1976, the year the Bucs came into the NFL, the only other team that hasn’t had a quarterback make multiple starts in at least seven straight seasons is Detroit. The Lions almost certainly will be off that list in 2015, as long as Matthew Stafford makes at least two starts.
The Bucs never have had a quarterback make more than one start in seven consecutive seasons. The team record is six seasons -- shared by Vinny Testaverde and Trent Dilfer. Neither was what you would call a franchise quarterback. Doug Williams also doesn’t qualify as a franchise quarterback, because he wasn’t around long enough.
Tampa Bay’s next quarterback has a chance to be the first franchise quarterback in team history.