There have been plenty of questions about Jameis Winston’s future with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this year due to erratic play on the field and some issues off of it, but the team apparently intends to stick with the former first-round pick heading into 2019.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Bucs are planning to bring back Winston as their starting quarterback next season. He is scheduled to make around $20 million after the team picked up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract, and Tampa’s brass reportedly feels he gives them the best chance to win.
Winston, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, has thrown just 15 touchdowns compared to 13 interceptions in 10 games this season. He has thrown 57 picks in three-plus NFL seasons, which has been his biggest issue. To give you some perspective, Aaron Rodgers has thrown 80 interceptions during his career and has been in the NFL for a decade longer than Winston.
Winston was suspended to start the season after he was accused of inappropriately touching an Uber driver, and he recently settled a lawsuit related to the case. Assuming the Bucs do stick with him as their starter in 2019, he will likely need to prove himself on and off the field before they think about signing him to a contract extension.
Jensen downplayed the matter after the game, saying the two had cleared the air and the issue was a matter of competitive energy coming out.
#GOBucs C Ryan Jensen on his sideline scuffle with Jameis Winston. “We’re both competitors out there and coming off a bad play. As families, families fight. Me and Jameis are highly competitive guys and we cleared the air and we’re good.''
The Bucs were up 14-3 in the game and ended up losing 28-14, so they had plenty of reasons to be frustrated. Winston was just 18/38 for 213 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception. He rushed 5 times for 47 yards.
Jameis Winston has reached a settlement with the Uber driver who filed a sexual battery lawsuit against him in Arizona two months ago.
According to Matt Baker of the Tampa Bay Times, a joint notice of settlement was filed in federal court on Monday, with the Uber driver’s attorney saying the woman “reached an agreement” with the Buccaneers quarterback. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
Winston was accused of groping the woman during an Uber ride more than two years ago. He was not criminally charged in the case, but the NFL suspended him for the first three games of the 2018 season after investigating the matter and finding the woman’s account to be consistent and credible. The lawsuit stated that the victim was seeking damages for “emotional distress as well as future therapy expenses.”
The incident occurred after Winston was at a nightclub with friends in Scottsdale, Ariz., in March 2016 and the people he was with called an Uber for the NFL star to be driven home. Winston, who was said to be intoxicated at the time, told the Uber driver he wanted a burrito, so she drove him to a Mexican fast food restaurant. When they were in the drive through line, the woman says Winston leaned over and touched her genitals without consent and that she immediately stopped him and questioned him. She contacted Uber to report the incident the following day.
Winston originally strongly denied the allegations, even having a friend say he was in the Uber car with the QB and that nothing happened. However, another friend later clarified that there were two separate Uber rides that night.
This is not the first time Winston has been accused of sexual misconduct, as he was also the subject of very public sexual assault allegations while in college at Florida State. He was not criminally charged in that case either, but he ended up settling a civil suit and countersuit with the woman out of court.
Count Mike Evans among those who feel Jameis Winston should be the quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the long haul.
Winston, who is in his fourth season in the NFL, has had and up-and-down season to say the least. Winston has been benched, regained the starting gig, was benched again, and once again will be the starter.
Despite his struggles this season, Bucs star wide receiver Mike Evans thinks Winston should receive a contract extension to tie him to team for the foreseeable future.
Earlier this year, Tampa Bay picked up the $21 million option on Winston’s rookie contract for next season. If Winston and the Bucs don’t reach a restructured deal, Tampa will be paying Winston a substantial amount of money. On the other hand, it would give the Bucs one more year to evaluate Winston and decide if they want him to be their long term quarterback.
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw three interceptions on 21 passes against the New York Giants on Sunday. He was promptly benched, and Winston nearly led the Buccaneers back from 17 points down against the New York Giants. There was never really any doubt that Winston would get his starting job back despite his ratio of 11 interceptions to eight touchdowns in just five games. He may have the remainder of the season to prove himself.
Winston was originally benched in Week 9 after a series of bad performances, but Fitzpatrick has provided no lift at all. He was 13-of-21 passing on Sunday, but had tossed three picks without finding the end zone. This is probably the last we’ll see of him, and will perhaps be Winston’s final opportunity to show the Buccaneers that he deserves to remain their quarterback of the future.