Jameis Winston is having a hard time finding interest in the NFL, at least from coaching staffs.
According to Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report, most of the limited interest in Winston is coming from front offices. Coaches are less enthused about working with the quarterback and are not driving any interest in the former Tampa Bay Buccaneer, who threw a league-worst 30 interceptions last season.
Many coaches have a high opinion of Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians, who is seen throughout the game as a quarterback guru. There is a wariness that if Arians was unable to fix Winston’s major turnover issues, nobody else will be able to either.
We’ve heard Arians talk about how Winston regressed during the year. It’s the opposite of a ringing endorsement from a coach regarded as a quarterback whisperer.
Winston will probably land somewhere, but it sounds like he’ll be in a backup role for the foreseeable future.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ dreams came true when Tom Brady chose to sign with them in free agency. Not only did that decision give them a future Hall of Famer, but it also closed the book on Jameis Winston’s Bucs career — for now.
Winston, whom the team selected No. 1 overall in 2015, is a free agent and still on the market. He led the NFL in passing yards last season (5,109) but threw for 33 touchdowns and 30 interceptions.
The interceptions and bad play by Winston at the end of the season soured Bucs head coach Bruce Arians on the young quarterback.
“For Jameis, for me, it was the regression in the last two ballgames with the interceptions. It was disheartening because he made progress, then he regressed,” Arians said in an interview with Tiki and Tierney on CBS Sports Radio/CBS Sports Network last week.
Arians told Tiki and Tierney that he thinks Winston would be best served as a backup quarterback next season.
“Get him somewhere as a backup for now,” Arians suggested for Winston. Somewhere he can sit and learn the system. Somewhere either with an older guy he can take over next year or compete with a young guy now.”
Many available spots around the NFL have filled up, leaving many to believe Winston won’t have a starting job next season, which Arians thinks is best. Don’t expect Winston to swap teams with Brady though and join the Patriots, because that reportedly is not happening.
"For Jameis, for me, it was the last two ball games. The regression back to the interceptions… It was disheartening because he had made progress then regressed." @BruceArians tells @TikiandTierney about the decision to move on from Jameis Winston. pic.twitter.com/wTDhYocmU9
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) March 26, 2020
One of the big storylines shaping up for the remainder of the NFL offseason is the set of former free agent starting quarterbacks encountering a lack of available starting jobs.
One name in that vein is Jameis Winston, who won’t be returning to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after they brought in Tom Brady. Winston doesn’t seem to have any starting options right now, but oddsmakers have given us a hint on his potential destination: the Jacksonville Jaguars.
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) March 28, 2020
There’s no link between Winston and the Jaguars, but it’s understandable. Jacksonville just dealt Nick Foles to the Chicago Bears, so they could use a backup or potential competition for Gardner Minshew. Another potentially obvious landing spot appears to be out, so we’re guessing at this point, but Winston has to land somewhere. It will probably be as a backup.
Jameis Winston has close ties to the state of Florida, from his time at Florida State to being drafted first overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Now that’s over. The Buccaneers signed Tom Brady, leaving Winston to find a new organization after five years in Tampa. With that in mind, Winston sent a goodbye post on social media that came with something of a guarantee.
— Jameis Winston (@Jaboowins) March 21, 2020
Next season’s Super Bowl is set to be played in Tampa, so Winston certainly thinks he’ll be finding his way back. He may have to do it as a backup, as there don’t look to be any starting jobs available to him at the moment. Winston can probably understand why the Buccaneers would prefer Brady, but the former top pick has some work to do to find a job of his own.
Now that teams more or less have their starting quarterbacks settled, a handful of guys are left looking for new homes and struggling to find them.
One of them is Jameis Winston, who won’t be back with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after they signed Tom Brady. Winston doesn’t really have any prospects as a starter right now.
The one team that is still being linked to potential starters is the New England Patriots. According to Michael Giardi of NFL Media, however, any pursuit of Winston by the Patriots is unlikely.
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) March 20, 2020
The Patriots value ball protection, and Winston’s 30 interceptions would not fly with them. He’s not a safe enough option. That means Winston is looking at a backup job, but it’s not even clear where that will end up being.
The quarterback who led the NFL in passing yards last season may not even have a starting job in 2020.
Jameis Winston, who led the NFL with 5,109 passing yards in 2019, has been replaced by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at quarterback, as the Bucs are expected to sign Tom Brady. Since he didn’t know what was going to happen in Tampa Bay, Winston has not found a new home yet. In the meantime, numerous other quarterback vacancies have been filled.
– Philip Rivers is going to the Indianapolis Colts
– Teddy Bridgewater is going to the Carolina Panthers
– Marcus Mariota is joining the Raiders
– Ryan Tannehill re-signed with Tennessee
– Case Keenum is going to Cleveland
The Patriots need a starting quarterback, while Chicago and the Chargers are among other teams that could use a backup/second option.
Winston is joined by Andy Dalton and Cam Newton as quarterbacks who probably still need a new home. Washington could be a spot for Newton if he wants to reunite with Ron Rivera, or possibly New England. The Patriots might also look to Dalton, or they could go with their in-house guy, Jarrett Stidham. The Chargers have Tyrod Taylor and Easton Stick on their depth chart and might be intrigued by Winston.
I don’t see Bill Belichick preferring Winston, a turnover machine, to Newton, but maybe to Dalton. The bottom line is the top two picks from the 2015 draft — Winston and Marcus Mariota — may end up being backups in 2020, which is not the way most people saw things going.
Has Jameis Winston played his last game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
According to Peter King of Football Morning in America, Winston is “likely” to depart the Buccaneers this offseason. King expects Winston to leave Tampa Bay and struggle to find a starting job in 2020.
ESPN’s Jenna Laine didn’t quite corroborate the report, but did admit that coach Bruce Arians was clearly exploring other quarterback options.
I wouldn’t go this far. But I will say that in talking to coaches and front office members in Indianapolis, there is certainly a level of frustration with the 30 picks. They know they can’t win like that. Bruce Arians is adamant about seeing what’s behind Door No. 2. https://t.co/dRhrxUq2l8
— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) March 2, 2020
It was seen as likely in some circles that Winston would get the franchise tag to keep him around for another year. Now it looks like another player will be the recipient of that. It could eliminate Winston’s chances of returning, as there doesn’t seem to be any real movement toward bringing him back. That could still change, but time is running short.