After accomplishing the first 30/30 season in NFL history, Jameis Winston finds himself on the market with no team. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers inked Tom Brady in free agency, leaving Winston without hope of returning to the only NFL franchise he ever knew.
The Jaguars are the favorites to sign Winston, per oddsmakers. The team traded away Nick Foles to the Bears earlier in the offseason, handing over their starting gig to former seventh-rounder Gardner Minshew.
Betting Odds on Winston’s Next Stop
- Jacksonville Jaguars: +200
- New Orleans Saints: +325
- Miami Dolphins: +350
- Denver Broncos: + 550
- New England Patriots: +750
- Washington Redskins: +900
- Pittsburgh Steelers: +1000
- Las Vegas Raiders: +1100
- Los Angeles Chargers: +1500
(via Fan Duel Sportsbook).
What is Winston’s Best Option?
Winston seemed as if he had plenty of options heading into free agency. Yet, with places such as Chicago and Carolina, in addition to his incumbent Tampa Bay Buccaneers, finding new veteran signal-callers, the former No. 1 pick may have to settle for a plush back-up gig.
Sitting behind Ben Roethlisberger akin to how Teddy Bridgewater went to New Orleans could be a prudent move. Winston could opt to simply replace Bridgewater with the Saints and re-up his stock.
Jacksonville and Cincinnati have different scenarios, each with varying paths to the starting gig. Minshew isn’t proven by any means and Winston could certainly outplay him to get the starting spot. The Bengals are expected to draft Joe Burrow with the No. 1 overall pick and could theoretically have Winston start the season to ease Burrow into the league but that simply isn’t common practice anymore in today’s NFL.
The Dolphins 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.
The Redskins flirted with the idea of signing Winston. Haskins’ grip on the role isn’t much tighter than his spiral and the team headed into the offseason looking for a QB to push the 2019 first-rounder. Washington traded for Kyle Allen and while they could add another signal-caller, it appears more likely that the addition would come via the draft.
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.
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.
Are the Patriots the right fit? 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.
READ NEXT: Patriots Among Fits for Cam Newton