Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston put up some big numbers in 2019. However, all those big numbers were not positive. Winston became the eighth quarterback in NFL history to throw for 5,000 yards in a season(5,109 yards). He also threw 33 touchdown passes. Here is the bad: Winston threw 30 interceptions in 2019, and became the first player to join the 30-30 club(30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in one season).
The fifth-year quarterback can become a free agent in the offseason, and the Buccaneers will have an interesting decision to make. Do they bring him back, or do they let him walk?
Winston made $20.9 million in 2019.
If it were up to Hall of Famer Willie Roaf, he would bring Winston back, but at a reduced rate, and if it were up to Roaf, Tampa would bring in a reliable backup just in case Winston struggles.
“I think there’s something not right mentally there; I don’t think it’s nothing personal,” Roaf recently told the Go4it podcast. “If you want to bring him back at a reduced salary, I’ll bring him back at a reduced salary. Maybe $10 million, but I gotta bring somebody else in there to push him, so I know I got a reliable backup like (Ryan) Fitzpatrick(played in Tampa in 2018), “FitzMagic.” The way he played in the second half of the season was amazing at his age, and the way he went in there and beat the Patriots..
“Because he(Winston) played so well in spurts, you bring him back, but I gotta bring somebody in there that will motivate him, that’s going to push him; that’s a real good quarterback..
“If he keeps throwing those picks, he’s going to lose a defense, he’s going to lose a team, so guys are not going to respond because every time they go out there, ‘Okay, we know he’s going to throw some touchdowns, we know he’s going to throw some picks.”
The 26-year-old Winston has a lot of ability, but to Roaf’s point, something is missing. It’s tough to win in the NFL, and it’s even harder to win when your quarterback throws 30 interceptions.
I don’t think Tampa Bay can bring him back, especially after the numbers he put up this season. However, if the price is right, maybe the Buccaneers will consider it, but there is no way Tampa can give him $20 to 30 million a year.
Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians recently said this about Winston:
“If we can win with this one, we can definitely win with another one, too.”
Welp, Bruce, it might be time to see if you can win without Winston.
Listen to the complete interview with Roaf as he talks Jameis Winston: