If you’re an NFL team looking for a franchise quarterback, 2020 is the answer to your prayers. Whether through the draft or free agency, the number of options out there is as high as ever. In free agency specifically, Tom Brady is the biggest name out there. But, other veterans such as Philip Rivers and Ryan Tannehill could receive huge paydays. But what about a 26-year-old former number one draft pick? We’re talking about Jameis Winston. In this free agent profile, we will look at Winston’s career so far, and project what the future could hold for the first-ever member of the 30-30 club.
Jamies Winston Free Agent Profile
Going into the 2015 NFL draft, Winston was the no-brainer number one pick. After Winston had a very decorated college career. He led the Florida State Seminoles to a 26-1 record in two seasons, won a national championship, and earned a Heisman Trophy. Winston was drafted first overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2015. In five seasons, Winston has been the definition of a boom or bust player. He led the league in passing yards in 2019 with 5,109 but threw an absurd 30 interceptions. That’s been the Winston experience summed up in one sentence. Through five seasons, the Buccaneers have had a 28-42 record with him under center and have failed to reach the postseason.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Viewpoint
The Bucs figure to be one of the teams Winston is most likely playing for in 2020. But just recently, head coach Bruce Arians told the media “It’s still up in the air” regarding Winston’s status. When Arians left retirement to coach Tampa, he said “I think he can win it all” regarding Winston. This change in tone has been evident since December when Tampa was eliminated from playoff contention. Arians will be 68 years old when the new season starts. His window to win a Super Bowl is now, not the future. Because of this, he could decide Winston gives him a better chance than a rookie. General manager Jason Licht drafted Winston in 2015, and his loyalty to him could go a long way in keeping him in Tampa.
That said, no free agent profile would be complete without potential landing spots should the Bucs decide to move on.
Many football fans have connected Phillip Rivers to the Indianapolis Colts. But the Colts are a potential suitor for every quarterback on the market. Possessing one of the best coaches in Frank Reich, a star wideout in T.Y. Hilton, and one of the best offensive lines in football makes the Colts a dream destination. The Colts are in a bit of a pickle when it comes to the quarterback situation, however. Under contract in 2020 is Jacoby Brissett who is set to count 21 million dollars against the salary cap. In 2019, Brissett was 29th out of 32 starting quarterbacks in yards per pass thrown. Winston, on the other hand, finished tied for fourth. Winston has never been afraid to take chances, and that could entice Indy.
Los Angeles Chargers
Along with the Colts, the Los Angeles Chargers have been connected to most of the free-agent quarterbacks. After moving on from their starting quarterback of the last 14 years, the Chargers are looking for a replacement. Moving to a new stadium, the organization will be looking to have a marketable name to advertise and get people in seats. Winston would fit the bill for the Chargers. Just like with Indy, however, there are reasons to doubt this move happening. Last year, Rivers was inconsistent and turned the ball over 23 times. These are the same issues that have plagued Winston’s pro career thus far. Should Winston come to LA, he will have a great supporting cast around him in Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Hunter Henry—if he’s re-signed.
2020 Is A Make Or Break Year For Winston
Regardless of where Winston ends up, time is running out for Winston to establish himself. For proof, look no further than the Tennessee Titans benching the 2015 second overall pick Marcus Mariota last season. Winston has been one of the most inconsistent quarterbacks since he entered the NFL. But he has also been polarizing at times and has shown the capabilities to be a franchise starter. Entering his sixth season, this is the season that will determine his future in the league.
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