The 2019 season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was filled with so much hope and so much despair, as Jameis Winston led the team through a roller-coaster campaign. The former No. 1 pick, who had 33 touchdown passes mixed in with 30 interceptions, is left wondering where he will play next year after his contract expired.
Let’s take a look at where the market for Winston sits after the first few days of free agency.
No Longer Options After Other Moves
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Not sure if you heard, but Tom Brady has decided to join the Buccaneers to end his historical run with the Patriots. Coach Bruce Arians’ time with Jameis is one-and-done.
The Panthers pushed Cam Newton out of town, announcing that the long-time QB can seek a trade. The team then inked Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year, $63 million deal. Newton remains without a new home as of this writing and regardless of where he ends up, there won’t likely be room for Winston in Carolina.
It was no secret that the Bears were looking for a veteran QB to push (and possibly replace) Mitchell Trubisky. They found their option in Nick Foles via a trade with the Jaguars. Foles is restructuring his contract to help accommodate the move and just like that, Chicago’s need for additional talent at the position is no more.
Would Need Something to Change
Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders are moving to Vegas and they’ve signed Marcus Mariota to be a fresh QB for the fan base. It’s unlikely that Winston would be a fit to join his draft mate in Sin City unless the team trades Derek Carr.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers watched Philip Rivers leave town and they appear to be content with entering the season with Tyrod Taylor as their starter. The NFL Draft may change their plans but it seems unlikely they’ll add another veteran QB.
The franchise entered the offseason without a quarterback of the future and with loads of cap space to spend. They did most of their damage on the defensive side of the ball and they could be in the market for Winston. However, the team has the draft capital to move up from the No. 5 overall pick if it wants to grab a QB higher in the draft and there are whispers that the organization is locked in on Tua Tagovailoa.
New England Patriots
Losing the greatest QB of all-time leaves a massive void in the organization. Bill Belichick will have to start somebody next season and if he feels he can get the best out of Winston without carrying over the worst, then this is the perfect match. Still, the Patriots have options. They’ve been linked to Andy Dalton. There’s chatter that Jarrett Stidham could be the opening day starter in Foxborough. There’s no Tom Brady available in free agency for the team but New England could do worse than Winston.
The Jaguars are going into 2020 with Gardner Minshew as their starter, though he is no proven option. The 2019 seventh-round pick played in 14 games for Jacksonville, completing 60.6% of his passes while chucking 21 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He earned the chance to have a starting job, though it seems unlikely that the team will go into the season with a proven option behind him. Winston could be that option who is ready to play if Minshew faulters.
Dwayne Haskins was not impressive during his rookie campaign. The raw stats can tell you that the season was meh. Seven touchdowns with seven interceptions; 56.8 completion percentage; 6.7 Yards/attempt. Winston would allow the franchise to move on from last year’s No. 15 overall pick without using significant resources like the No. 2 overall pick.
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